One of the topics I come across often on various websites is a discussion of what makes a professional writer. I read and ponder and wonder if the writer is correct. Most of the definitions seem too grand for me. In my world, which I admit is limited, the signs of a professional writer are simple and obvious. Here they are.
1. You write even when you don’t feel like it.
2. You maintain a writing schedule, knowing that over time you will get better. It may take years, but you won’t get where you want to go without effort over time.
3. You take reviews for what they are, good or bad—just the opinion of one other person.
4. You learn from everything—good and bad reviews, story rejections, questions that seem to come out of left field.
5. If you have a day job or other responsibilities, you still find time to think about your next scene or any other writing issue. You’re not dreaming about being famous or rich.
6. You help other writers coming along and listen with interest to those who have gone before.
7. You carry out the various parts of being a professional writer, even those you may dislike or feel unprepared for—arranging talks, writing reviews and marketing materials, and the like.
8. You accept the limitations of those who work with you—Beta readers, agents, editors.
9. You’re patient with the process of publishing, choosing the path that is right for you and no one else.
10. You make mistakes, correct them, and move on. You’re human, after all.
And one that shouldn’t have to be included but here it is.
11. You read as much as you can because this is one of the best ways of learning how to improve as a writer and thinker.
I included this image because he looks so content and absorbed, and I think that's the way we want our readers to look regardless of what we write. For my books, check out the links below.