Though the requirements to become a writer vary depending on the type of writing in question, most professional writing positions require past experience in the field and a portfolio of work exemplifying the ability to write in that format. Some technical writing jobs may also require special certification or education, though most fiction writing does not carry any specific prerequisites.
Professional writing careers often place an emphasis on skill and experience over education, with many publications such as newspapers and magazines requiring applicants to submit examples of past work to demonstrate ability. Many newspaper writers typically start out covering events for local papers to build a portfolio before applying to larger publications and gaining access to more work. Starting a blog covering personal interests is another way for a writer to develop a portfolio and demonstrate his abilities.
Positions such as technical writer or copywriter may require proof of past publication, writing samples, certification in the field, or proof of attendance in courses that cover grammar and marketing. Many universities and community colleges offer courses to obtain these credentials.
Fiction writing does not carry any educational or past experience in terms of self-publication or traditional publication, as the writer only needs to create the work and submit it to the appropriate publishing house.