By DiAnn Mills
Do we have a clear idea of what it means to be a professional writer? Is it defined by the number of publications? Is the term equated with a particular genre or how long a writer has labored at the craft? The amount of the advance? Is the definition subjective and of little value? Perhaps the easiest way to describe a professional writer is to show what that looks like in the publishing world.
An accomplished writer is one who has spent hours perfecting the craft and gained recognition through publication. The work is hard and usually a solitary process. The writing life involves developing a tough skin to accept constructive criticism, rejections, edits, rewrites, and submit again.
The professional writer strives to create quality manuscripts by being aware of what’s happening in the world. The writer is concerned and creates posts to address heartfelt needs of readers.
Professionals face the challenges of their calling by establishing and achieving goals. The writer weighs the writing project, style, voice, networking, and social media content with their brand to determine if the manuscript is a good fit.
A professional writer is an authority about one or more topics related to the craft. An expert is capable of providing knowledge to others by offering explanations and instruction that are valued. The publishing industry respects a self-confident and reliable writer.
A writer enriches a reader’s life by using words as building blocks for effective communication. It’s an art accomplished by knowing how to place words in easy to understand language. The process also includes using correct grammar, punctuation, and mastering techniques to create an unforgettable experience. We enhance our skills through life experience and training.
A student is one who takes an interest in a subject and strives to learn more about it. The professional writer who embraces student status chooses the road of seeking more knowledge about the publishing world. This focus includes enhancing our skills in the craft, marketing, promotion, and constant changes in the writing industry. A student practices the art of continuous education.
The best teachers of writing are those who are accomplished, aware, career-minded, an expert, skilled, and embraces the role of a student. These people are role models. They offer advice and sometimes mentor those who are serious about their calling.
Are you on a path to professionalism?
(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)