First of all, when you’re just starting out, you really shouldn’t be worried about making money. Instead, you should just focus on the writing itself.
Why? I see a lot of young (or simply inexperienced) writers get frustrated because they can’t find people willing topay them for their work, or who publish here on Medium only to end up in so-called ‘curation jail.’ And they ask: why won’t people take them seriously?
It really comes down to experience. No matter how much innate talent they have, new writers struggle to write different styles for various audiences. They don’t know how to estimate how long something will take, and they haven’t learned the art of editing their own writing. All of these things take time to develop and learn. So unless you’re very lucky and have a really good idea, you’re going to need thousands — or in truth, millions — of words under your belt before you should expect to become a successful writer. And that takes years and lots and lots of writing.
That means that when you’re getting started, you should write everything you can. Take on new challenges and try new things. Try writing short stories and news articles. Do personal essays, novels, blogs, poetry, and copy for websites. Write anything you can get your hands on.
And don’t be afraid to allow writing to be your hobby for a while. While I was starting a separate career, I was writing articles for local publications, entering short story contests, and working on my first novel.
If you’re writing because you love doing the work, you shouldn’t even worry about whether or not what you produce is marketable or will make you rich. It’s not a competition, and making money on your work doesn’t make it more meaningful.