Opportunities for advance in the world of writing are few and are often hard fought between experienced professionals with long lists of successful publications. If a promotion is secured it can mean the abandonment of freelance writing in favor of a steady gig with a taxed salary and actual health benefits.
Bigger Assignments, Better Publications
A promotion for a writer is hard to quantify in the sense of a new job title or larger office complete with new employees to boss about. Failing that, a writer does have opportunities for advancement within publications and companies in the form of larger writing assignments and more important articles. These pieces are usually given to writers with more experience, who have proven track records for meeting deadlines and turning in consistently excellent work. The "promotion" to writing more prominently featured articles within a publication usually comes with a bigger paycheck as well.
Many editors begin life as writers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They display a keen eye for finding other writing talent, pruning existing documents and articles and suggesting rewrites where appropriate. An editing position may be thought of as a promotion for a writer as it lands her a more established position with a company which can entail a steady salary and benefits package. An editing position can still leave a writer with enough time to continue pursuit of her own creative projects which can lead to other employment opportunities.
A head writer is responsible for supervising a team of staff writers working on scripts for a major or non-major network television show. The position of head writer is a steady one as long as the show remains on the air, whereas staff writers for a series may come and go on a freelance basis. Head writers and staff writers working for television networks are members of the Writers Guild of America, a trade union dedicated to protecting writer wages and benefits.
Building Your Resume
Securing that first promotion or big assignment as a writer does not come without experience and evidence of successful publication. Opportunities for advancement and higher paying assignments run hand-in-hand with your reputation for producing quality and timely written assignments. This requires doing the little assignments which are funneled to beginning writers with the same tenacity as you might use to tackle an interview with the president or Bono or even your crotchety neighbor.
Jonathan Lister has been a writer and content marketer since 2003. His latest book publication, "Bullet, a Demos City Novel" is forthcoming from J Taylor Publishing in June 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing and poetics from Naropa University.