Recently I had the opportunity to sit down and visit with the mother of one of my daughter’s friends that I only know casually.
The conversation when something like this:
Her, in a pitying tone: So, are you writing a novel from home?
(If there had been one of those cartoon bubbles over her head to show her thoughts, it probably would have read something like this: poor deluded thing, she thinks that she’s an author…)
Me, somewhat surprised at her tone: Actually, I do all of my writing for businesses. I write study guides and tests for business professionals, create content for companies that have websites, and develop instructional manuals for software systems. I have also done some newsletters.
(I didn’t even attempt to explain what a blog is to her.)
Her turn to be surprised: So you really do stay busy…
She sighs: I need to find something that I can do from home and get paid.
Unfortunately, her response is not all that unusual. When I tell people that I’m a writer they typically ask to read one of my books. That’s because, for most people the occupation title “professional writer” seems to be synonymous with the occupation title “book author.” Most people think that writing a book is the only way that a writer can get paid.
I ran across this post from my blogging friend, Nikki, that asks when you should call yourself a professional writer.
My opinion is that you are a professional writer if you are earning your living from writing, but I’m curious to find out what you think.
What do you think? At what point can you call yourself a professional writer?
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