Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Professional Writers

According to all professional writer’s organizations a professional is one who has sold at pro rates.

It’s the only definition that counts really.

Creative pursuits operate on a different standard than things like carpentry.

The reason for this is the narrowness of the markets.

Most professional artists and authors have day jobs because art and writing do not pay well unless you are in the top ten percent.  And of that top ten percent of professional creative people, only ten percent of that ten percent make an outstanding living at it.

The real compensation is in the validation of our talents.  Fans.

The nickels and dimes do help.


9 comments on “Professional Writers

  1. RHFay
    November 25, 2008


    I’ve said as much in certain on-line discussions. There are organizations out there that do define what makes a writer a professional. And being a professional means making a sale (or a certain number of sales) to a pro market.

    I think that’s a pretty straight-forward definition. It’s as good a definition as any other.

  2. Mike Brendan
    November 26, 2008

    Works for me… although someone under the handle “William Shakespeare” thinks I’m an unpublished writer. Then again, I got a good idea on who it is.

    Another form of validation is (in my mind) reviews. Not just the Amazon reviews, but actual “professional” reviews by peers in the field. Even if it’s a tepid review, it’s refreshing to know that someone’s read your work and put some thought into it.

  3. Michele Lee
    November 27, 2008

    I like to think that one can have a professional attitude without yet having the writing skills to back up said drive.

    I consider myself a professional because I know where I am behind the scenes, in terms of motivation, drive, skill, etc. But I would understand why someone on the outside might not consider me one since I don’t yet have the credits to back it up.

    (And I know you’re a member of IOHP and I hope in your eyes I’ve proven myself to be a professional when it comes to editing the newsletter.)

  4. cussedness
    November 27, 2008

    You do a very good job on the newsletter, Michele. I also like the reviews that you do on your blog. You have a skilled eye.

  5. Rusty
    November 27, 2008

    I’d like to add an observation, if I may. Those who really are pros know who they are, and feel no need to proclaim from the highest mountain. When I run across someone who feels compelled to take every opportunity to remind that he or she is a pro, I generally suspect that person is full of bull.

  6. Rich
    November 29, 2008

    The true master of Kung-Fu knows that there’s a proper time and place for everything.

    (whatever that means!)

  7. Johaha
    November 30, 2008

    Ah, grasshopper, when you can take the stone from my hand, it is time for you to leave.

  8. Mike Brendan
    November 30, 2008

    What, you mean this stone I have here?

  9. Johaha
    November 30, 2008

    Ah, grasshopper. The stone is an illusion. Pain is an illusion.
    Even the tiger learns….awe, fuck it…

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This entry was posted on November 25, 2008 by in Janrae Frank, writing, dark fantasy, horror, science fiction and tagged , .

Janrae Frank

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