Talk Back: What is a professional writer?

August 26, 2013

On my Kindle: Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

Talk Back – Tell us how you write!

A few weeks ago the web was abuzz with writers discussing the definition of “professional writers” after a horror writer wrote a controversial blog post on the subject.

Now I don’t want to add to the fire but since I didn’t hear much from writers I know (mostly romance writers) on the subject, I thought I’d come out here and ask you, wonderful Musetrackers:

How do you define a professional writer?

And do you feel the need to label writers in this manner?

I was a little disturbed to see some authors viewing professional writers as only those who are paid to write which basically implies only contracted writers and people on staff at newspapers and magazines qualify.

Because most of us write then hopefully get paid after making a sale or self-publishing, and a lot of us may take quite a lot of time between sales or may not be able to fully pay the rent yet, does this means we are not quite yet “professional”.

And does it matter?

So what do you think? Do you consider yourself a professional writer? What does it mean for you? Is it a question of work ethic or monetary compensation? Do you label other writers as professional or not?

Let’s hear it!

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Location:Seattle


Talk back: Is your writing a job or your hobby?

February 25, 2013

On my Kindle: Silk Is For Seduction by Loretta Chase

So today I’m asking you a very simple question: how do you consider your writing, like a job? Or a hobby?

My writing is actually a hobby for me. Shocking? Well there are all kinds of hobby isn’t there? And mine is more of the marathon runner kind instead of the week-end photography kind. I’m pretty obsessive about it and I practice writing every day.

The truth is, it’s when I started writing as a job that all things went pear shape for me…

Because I was so scared of it, it all started as a hobby. But then I joined writers groups where I learned that to be successful I had to treat it like a job. So I did and it worked. I sold my first manuscript to a NY publisher very quickly. And I worked at my writing job daily: 8-10 hours a day. The problem was that even though I worked the hours, the money just wasn’t there. Definitely not enough to support a family of 4 in Seattle in this uncertain economy.

My new job made my family very nervous.

So stress started piling up and words were now preceded with dollar signs and I just lost myself as a writer.

So I went back to school and now have a regular day job. And writing is done before and after work. I tell my family that my writing is my hobby. I do it everyday and very seriously but the “hobby” label make them breathe easier.

I found my happy writing place.

So what is yours? Do you need to treat your writing as a job to get respect at home and motivated? Or has it backfired on you? What is your experience?

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Location:Seattle