The Perks Of Being A 21st Century Writer | Article By Daphne Ifechukwu Udoh
Writing as an age-old art has come a long way from the time of the Egyptian heliographs through the years. This expertise has been passed down from generation to generation, like a baton, independent of colour, gender, or other factors. Gone are the days when writers were seen as shrunken, poverty-stricken individuals who spent their days locked up in libraries, their faces behind mountains of books and scrunched-up papers. These days, writers are making millions on a daily.
Compared to what we have now; vast tools and technology at our fingertips, the writers of the previous centuries did not enjoy such luxuries. Yet, these did not stop them from writing the narratives of their era with sweat, and sometimes, blood. Blood in the sense that, using Nigeria and other military-ruled countries as case studies; writers were mostly targeted because of the amount of power they wielded, simply by possessing the pen. We now enjoy relative freedom of expression in this age. Sensitive topics like bad politics, failed leadership, police brutality and even sexuality, are being discussed more than ever. Today’s writers leverage their platforms and strong social media presence to shape public opinion and become advocates for societal change.
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Let’s talk about the simplified research process. Although research in itself can be a rigorous process, it’s a lot easier in this present century. Prior to the internet, writers would dust volumes from various library shelves, taking months to conduct extensive research. Not only does the modern writer have the opportunity to skip such procedures – thanks to the internet – he can also access more accurate and up-to-date information.
Looking at the daunting procedure of publishing – which many writers of old ran away from – the 21st century has awakened a sort of zeal among today’s writers. There are a lot more opportunities for writers to get published. From free publishing deals offered by some publishing houses today to the amazing availability of online publishing and marketing platforms like LightReader, OkadaBooks, Amazon Kindle Publishing, writers are assured of massive sales without stress.
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As opposed to what our forefathers had to go through to advertise their authored works, printed copies can even be sold out to thousands of individuals without having to go outside one’s door. Books have undergone a tremendous metamorphosis in that they are now widely available as audiobooks, removing barriers for the general public, particularly visually challenged people who get to listen to the audiobooks. Publishing is simply an opportunity to reach an even wider audience.
Money-wise, there’s nothing comparable to learning and earning from doing what you love. This century is definitely the most profitable time to be a writer. Asides from publishing, it is now possible to earn a living as a freelance writer. Writing is a versatile field. Several new lucrative jobs and fields for writers are now open and expanding daily. A writer can create content, be an editor, a researcher, a blogger, and so much more!
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The opportunities attached to possessing a writing skill today beat the human imagination. More interesting is the fact that all these can be done from home, breaking the normal cycle of nine to five jobs! With social networking platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc, and, applications such as Upwork, Fiverr, seekers of written works, who are willing to pay, come into contact with authors and writers like never before. The 21st century is truly a century for talented writers to smile to the bank.
And who says only skilled writers can benefit from all these perks? In the 21st century, you don’t have to be a born writer to enjoy being a writer. Even born-writers are now signing up for courses and training to hone their skills and be relevant in today’s writing world. With the organization of both paid and unpaid writing courses, masterclasses and the likes, more experienced writers help groom other less-experienced writers about navigating the writing world. Things like these also give room for networking.
Social media has also created the much-needed space to meet and communicate with fellow creatives, learn and unlearn. With the availability of free writing tools like Grammarly for spell and grammar checks, Writing Prompts apps for generating ideas, etc, a writer can also increase their writing efficiency.
Stating the obvious, the high call rate of writing competitions today has provided writers with the opportunity to showcase their talent, and win grand prizes for outstanding entries. Competitions simply challenge writers to challenge their biggest challenge; Writers’ Block.
The perks of being a 21st Century writer include but are not limited to; a wider audience, efficiency, improved earning opportunities, and more! This century; an age of golden opportunities for talented writers willing to harness their skills, is definitely the most profitable time to be a writer.
About The Writer
Daphne Ifechukwu Udoh is a shy girl who thinks herself something of a writer.:) She’s mostly indoors and when she comes out, looks nothing like what you think writers look like.:) Follow her on twitter @thepuriax