Write Like a Pro: New Year, Professional You

Mary AndonianBy Mary Andonian

Is this is the year you’ve decided to take the plunge and become a professional writer? Maybe you already work full time at something that pays the bills but doesn’t fulfill you. Or perhaps you work overtime at home, raising kids and keeping house.

Regardless of your present circumstances, if you have decided to devote time to your writing passion and want to earn money doing it, then congratulations! We’re going to give you some tips on how to make your dreams a reality.

How do you feel about your decision? Do you believe you can soon be a professional writer? Before you can become a writer on the outside, you must first believe in yourself on the inside. Try the following to develop your inner writer’s self esteem:

When asked your profession, tell them you’re a writer. It doesn’t matter that you’re a full time litigation lawyer, a baker, or a homemaker. From now on, when prodded, say “I’m a freelance writer,” or even “I’m an aspiring author.” The “aspiring” tag will let them know you’re on your way to your goal, but are claiming the journey just the same.Label yourself as a writer in print. Create business cards that identify you as a freelance writer. It’s a small investment that will yield big results toward creating your new professional writing identity. You can purchase quality business cards online for under $20. My favorite place to shop: http://www.vistaprint.com

Create a signature block in your e-mail address that classifies your business. For example, I use a yahoo mail address that presents my signature block as the agents and editors coordinator for the Willamette Writers Association. I use another address for personal use, and yet another for my writing services. It’s simple to edit, and creates instant legitimacy.

Finally, do little things to remind yourself that you mean it. The first year I decided to seriously work on a book, I changed my cell phone title to say “I am a writer.” No one viewed it but me, but it was a small reminder that made me smile every time I noticed it.

Creating your professional image is an inside job first. If you don’t take yourself seriously, how will anybody else? And when you’re feeling insecure about whether or not you deserve to pursue your dream of becoming a writer, consider what my brother Randy shared with me many moons ago, before I was about to interview for a much desired job: “Mary, if anyone before you has ever performed this job, regardless of their abilities, why not you?

People have been making a living at writing for many years. Why not you?

Mary Andonian is the agents and edtiors coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference, one of the largest writers’ conferences in the United States. In past years, she was Co-chair and Program Coordinator. She just completed her second book, Bitsy’s Labyrinth. Contact Mary at maryandonianwwconference AT yahoo.com.


1 Response to “Write Like a Pro: New Year, Professional You”

  1. 1 Melissa January 9, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Okay, I did it. I introduced myself as a writer. On the phone. Ack! Does that count? 🙂 I almost believe it…

    But, can I do it face-to-face? To a real, live, breathing person? Double ack!

    What if they ask me that dreaded question, “Oh, what do you write?” Ack, ack, ack!

    Stay tuned…..

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