'A Lessons from the Newsroom’ Series: Part 5
(You can read the rest of the series here)
“You’re a writer, huh? So I guess that means
you come up with stuff and write it down and… stuff."
Really, it’s no wonder that this is the way
some people view writers. There are too many who are claiming the title of
writer but aren’t living up to the hard-earned reputation of their predecessors.
They’re not being professionals.
When I started working at a newspaper I had,
literally, come straight off the farm. I had just graduated homeschool high
school and had no college education or schooling in journalism.
So when my editor decided to take a chance
on me and give me the job, I did the one thing that I’ve always been really
good at – I faked it.
Yup, I totally faked the fact that I didn’t
have a clue what I was doing.
I came to work only knowing that I knew how
to write. I pretended I was a professional and imitated what I saw others in my
you know what? Before long, I actually started to believe I was a professional,
and I was even complemented about my level professionalism by customers and
others in the industry.
A Copy Cat.
Mimicking is okay. After all, isn’t
that how we learn important life skills as kids? We copy what we see adults
doing in hopes of becoming just like them someday.
Copy what successful authors do until
you find your own groove of knowing and understanding – because with practice comes understanding. Look
at the habits of other writers.
writers get up several hours early to devote time to their craft. They take
time to craft their social media updates and emails. They not only publicly declare
that they are writers, but they show up to do the work and prove that they are
worthy of the title.
All For One, One For
is not just an industry. It’s also a community. And within that community,
there is definitely a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ type of atmosphere.
such, it’s really upsetting when one writer does something that reflects badly on
the whole writing community. If you’re going to be a writer, you have to be
professional. For all our sakes.
Eyes On You.
you declare yourself a writer, people are going to train their eyes on you and
watch your every move. They’re going to watch at what you say and do; they’re
going to be critical of your Facebook posts and tweets.
public is going to be using all of this as a means of judging whether your book
is worth their time.
you are writing with even the slightest hope or want of being published someday
you have to carry a professional persona.
Are you practicing professionalism as a writer? What are you
doing to prove you’re worthy of the writer label?