How To Become An Unpaid Writer In Ten Easy Steps!

Years ago, I wrote game reviews professionally for a small computer magazine.

Now, I have a different job doing voice work for radio. But I wanted to get back into the exciting world of writing. There’s nothing like putting your opinions out there and having them eviscerated day after day by the anonymous blob of the internet!

It took some doing, but I can now proudly say that I’m a completely unpaid writer! Yes!

Here’s how I did it, and how anyone else could, with a little work.

Step One- Watch a Video!

Go back in time to 2013 and watch this Nika Harper video on Youtube.

Remember after watching the video that NaNoWriMo is a thing. Remember that you’ve got an android tablet you could totally write things on remotely so you won’t have to type at your desk all the time.

Step Two- NaNo A WriMo!

Participate in NaNoWriMo 2013. Write a novel that awkwardly cobbles together some lame ideas you had as a teenager. Finish the novel, but instead of releasing it, give it to a couple of friends to read instead. Then do nothing for several months.

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Step Three- Coffee!

After several months of inactivity, decide that the only way to get things done is to start going to a coffee shop every day to work on writing projects.

Eventually, you should get tired of your Android Tablet and buy a Chromebook instead.

Step Four- Coffee Shops are Annoying!

You know what’s great about coffee shops? They provide coffee, and a nice place to sit, and usually some decent wi-fi.

But they also have background music. And other people. And distractions.

So many distractions.

This is where you have to buy some nice headphones, so you can block out the very place you’ve chosen voluntarily to write every day. It helps if you were already kind of into headphones before doing this.

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Step Five- Stop Writing Fiction!

Continue to write fiction that you never really finish and never really release. Then, write a review of the headphones you wrote on a blog that no one reads.

Decide that this is easier and more fun than writing original fiction, and write a few more.

Step Six- Discover Medium!

Since you’re reading this, you’ve done this step already. Excellent work!

I noticed that a lot of writers I enjoyed had started publishing stuff on Medium. All joking aside, it’s a tremendously slick platform for writing, with incredible stat tracking.

That stat tracking is also a great gateway for a descent into madness.

Step Seven- Review Way Too Many Headphones

Write a bunch of headphone reviews that you finance with your other job. Notice that only a few of them do really well views-wise, while the rest languish in a terrible hole.

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Step Eight- Fall into a Writing Habit

I have to write something every day now. I’m not really sure why.

I’m certainly not doing it for the money.

Oh, at some point, if you want, decide that your Chromebook isn’t doing it for you anymore. This is helped along if you’re irritated, like me, that the promised Android support never actually rolled out. Spend too much money on something else like a MacBook.

Step Nine- Start Writing A Variety of Things!

Why just be an unpaid headphone reviewer when you can also be an unpaid games reviewer, an unpaid fiction writer, and an unpaid bad humor writer?

Look! Fiction came back! And here you were, worried that I didn’t like it anymore.

Step Ten- Write a Silly Coffee Review that gets more views than anything else you’ve ever done, and quit.

I hate you Midnight Mocha Frappucino Review. But the world loves you more than the rest of my hard work combined.

I don’t actually hate that review, but it’s really screwing with my stats page. Maybe I should just review coffee from now on.

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Bonus Step- Get some nice comments on Medium and a few mean ones too!

Traditional wisdom is not to read internet comments, but most of the replies I’ve received on Medium have actually been great. They usually contain thoughtful words and insights.

But sometimes, people will sign up for an account just to yell at me. If I had that kind of time, I’d probably be a paid writer.

Please click the heart so I know you made it this far. Thank you for reading! Let me know if you too fulfill your dreams of becoming an unpaid writer.

Written by

I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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