Originally published on Medium here!
I started out my writing career by writing those how-to, knowledge base type articles that you might find when you’re looking up how fix that pesky internet connection. It worked for where I was at the time, but ultimately that line of work left me bored and restless.
I started to move to where most writers aspire to and dipped my toes into the creative, storytelling field- writing short stories/novel, then moving to ad copywriting, UX writing, and eventually transitioning to UX design.
Often times I wonder if other writers go through the same process, or if it’s just me(turns out, it’s not just me). Was I cursed with a never-ending, bottomless pit of unsatisfied work fulfillment, or am I simply a product of the broader writers dilemma of always searching for lofty ideals of perfection?
I’m starting to realize that it’s neither.
Writers must go through what the rest of the world has already known, which is that to stay relevant and make a living, we need to adapt. Our skill is as high in demand as ever, but unless we’re working on the next Harry Potter series, our focus needs to remain focused, yet as fluid as possible.
And for a lot of us that means we need to be able to write copy to meet business demands, and often times, extending ourselves beyond writing itself. Fields like UX writing…
The Craft of UX Writing
Speaking of, UX writing is a relatively new term that’s being picked up by a lot of new tech companies to describe the words use to guide users through their journey map. In the olden days, we used to just throw a bunch of salesy type words like “buy today” and “act now” while supplies last (spoiler alert: supplies always last).
But those days are gone, and now companies are looking for UX writers to turn prospects into customers.
It’s almost like they’re realizing that UX copy is much more complex and nuanced that simply writing “click here” on their website. Duh.
As the UX Collective points out in their state of UX:
“The cross-pollination between UX and copy tends to grow in 2018, as the term ‘UX writing’ starts to be used to describe not only a technique, but also job titles within design companies.”
(If you’re a writer that’s new to the field, I highly, highly recommend learning how the masters write UX copy over at UX Hub)
Writing Disciplines Aside from UX Writing
Aside from UX writing there’s a multitude of high paying, well respected jobs that seek writing talents to address their needs.
For example, in my hometown of Seattle, Copywriters can still make a decent wage in Seattle and I consider it to be an industry full of challenge, fun, and sometimes booze-at least in the agency world.
Content writers can also make a decent sum, provided that you’re comfortable with SEO focused work like blog writing.
Content strategists can make quite a lot for a writing profession, but require a set of organization and strategic implementation of content than the more individualized content writing roles require.
As for me, I’m just happy to be here. I look at my work and:
- Feel lucky that I’m even making money writing for a living.
- Feel well-versed in a myriad of writing disciplines, rather than looking at it like I’m constantly changing my mind (who knows, Mad Men could come back and copywriting could be the hot thing again).
Study your craft with diligence, but be on the lookout for awesome new opportunities to keep the writing profession relevant.