When a nineteenth century British author wrote “the pen is mightier than the sword,” he was referring to the tremendous power of words used skillfully by writers and authors. Writers use their language skills to produce content for an audience. They compose books, movie screenplays, magazine articles, and web content. Writers need creativity to come up with ideas, critical thinking skills to convey their concepts clearly, and persuasively, when needed, and adaptability to understand their audience’s perspectives. The work of different types of writers varies significantly: creative writers like novelists, songwriters, poets, and playwrights are generally self-employed, and may labor for months or years before getting published, while technical writers and copywriters often work 9-to-5 jobs with a clear career path. Copywriters work on ad campaigns, and technical writers prepare instruction manuals and how-to guides. Using specialized skills, often learned on the job, they simplify complex ideas for the public, or write highly-technical material for a specific professional audience. Writers and authors often work in offices, but may work from any location with Internet access. Most writers have a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English, and lots of writing practice. Aspiring writers who want to enter the field often gain experience from internships, blogging about their personal interests, writing for school publications, small businesses or non-profits, or local news organizations.
What they do:
Originate and prepare written material, such as scripts, stories, advertisements, and other material.
On the job, you would:
Discuss with the client the product, advertising themes and methods, and any changes that should be made in advertising copy.
Present drafts and ideas to clients.
Vary language and tone of messages based on product and medium.
Arts and Humanities
sales and marketing
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
reading work related information
writing things for co-workers or customers
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
changing what is done based on other people's actions
talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
communicate by writing
read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
create new and original ideas
come up with lots of ideas
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Video creation and editing software
Apple Final Cut Pro
Web page creation and editing software
Social media sites
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.