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This and that…

Monday, September 28, 2009
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, random ramblings

demon cat on energy saving mode- - small

Some of you may have noticed that there haven’t been too many reviews posted to the blog recently. Yeah, the reading mojo has been on vacation for a while now. Plus, tackling the 983 pages brick otherwise known as Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth has taken what little reading energy there was and stomped it into the ground.


(Okay, not really–I am enjoying the book, but those almost one thousand pages are intimidating)

(And I just learned that there’s an eight hour miniseries being filmed–sweet!)


My computer monitor is gasping its last breaths–which makes blog hoping and emailing and hey, everything computer-related, a headache-inducing venture. I’m now hunting for a (bargain, please) new monitor. Until then, I’ll probably be somewhat spotty around the internet (yeah, I know, I’d be missed like… well, like something you don’t notice is gone :wink:)


Speaking of the intratubes…

Jessica at Racy Romance Reviews (don’t you just love that blog name? I do) keeps coming up with these questions that make you think–even when you’d rather let your brain rot. Go forth and chime in: What Makes Someone a “Professional” Writer?


The whole “be professional” discussion in all its usual variations and reincarnations sparked yet another random tangential thought… what about those times when a person wants to be shallow? You know, just react, go with your gut–instead of being all rational and adult and stuff.

Like this: someone posts a comment that is valid and relevant to an ongoing discussion. Someone else accuses this person of trying to stir up shit. The first person responds and, lo and behold, shit ensues! Then someone else says, “but wait, that person’s first comment was actually relevant to the discussion, you are just reacting to the person and not the content of her comment, I cry foul on that!”

And you know what? It’s probably indeed lazy, but sometimes one just reacts to the name/person and not what they say, because experience has (painfully at times) taught one that even agreement with that person will result in shit stirring, so why postpone it and put more effort than necessary into it, you know?

What do you all think?




The image is of my demon cat, in energy saving mode.


  • M E 2
    September 28
    1:40 pm

    I guess my whole take on a professional anyone/anything is : if you are paid to do “IT”, you are a professional.


  • Hey, AL. Back from vacation and ready to stir up some shit.

    A writer writes. Period. So if you write, you’re a writer. A professional writer is a writer by profession. Meaning s/he makes her living as a writer. You’re not a professional unless you make your living doing it. So what? You’re still a writer as long as you write. People seem to think there’s somehow more validity if they’re “a professional,” so they make up all these ways you can be a professional if you’re not making your living that way. You can act professionally and not make your living as a writer. But you can’t be a professional writer until you do.


  • I don’t think you have to make your entire living by writing in order to be a professional writer. I mean, I make the majority of my living waiting tables, but I couldn’t survive wholly on that income. I need the extra money from writing to make ends meet.

    The fact that I can’t pay all my bills with either job certainly doesn’t make me an amateur at either one of them. Nor does it make someone with a few NY books under her belt, but who still needs a day job to fill in the gaps or provide security (because for most, writing is not a steady, reliable income), an amateur writer.

    I think to be a pro writer, you have to 1) get paid for your writing, and 2) do what it takes to continue to get paid for your writing.

    Selling one short story to a small press doesn’t make you a pro (IMO). Continuing to sell stories does.


  • Loved your “shallow” comment, AL! There are times when being strenuously reasonable and courteous just goes against human nature–almost painfully so. Why invite that kind of agony? 😉


  • FD
    September 29
    1:35 am

    I find the discussion intriguing, in a conflicting cultural values way.
    Personally, I define professional as ‘gets paid for it’. And in my experience as a Brit, we have a certain amount of cultural ambivalence about arts/sport/leisure pursuits etc as a paid for profession. Almost as though it devalues it somehow – amateurs are regarded as being ‘purer’ in their devotion to the art form, I guess because they do it for love not money. I’m rolling my eyes, because there’s no way that’s not going to come across as wanky, but there is definitely that element to the way people look at these things.
    And at the same time I perceive a professional as being someone who delivers a job competently done and value for money – the workman is worthy of his hire and all that.
    What it boils down to is that acting in a professional manner is a compliment. Describing someone as a professional is often borderline insulting.

    N.B. Not suggesting in anyway that people should not get paid for thier work – or that people are entitled to arts etc for free. Can’t emphasise that strongly enough.


  • Ann Bruce
    September 29
    4:40 am

    From The Replacements, a movie I’ve watched way too many times (I love the replacement cheerleaders):

    There are some who will say that your accomplishments today will soon be forgotten, that you’re not real players, that this isn’t a real team. And I say that’s bullshit. Because as of today, you’re all professional football players. You’re being paid to play.

    Just replace “football players” with “writers.”


  • I’ll miss you azteclady, so I’m crossing my fingers you find a new monitor very soon!

    And I wish I had an energy saver mode like cats. They’re so talented *grin*

    As for what makes a professional writer…I guess I’ve always defined the term ‘professional’ as someone who is being paid, but that is really in terms of sport. Perhaps for writing, professional writer should be those ‘aiming to be paid for their writing’? And I hope I’m not stirring up controversy by saying so, because I really don’t want to cause offence 🙂


  • Patrice
    September 29
    5:59 pm

    Hmmm…so does that mean that someone who devotes time to a charitable organization as a volunteer, or someone who does “pro bono” work, is not professional because they are not paid for thier work?

    Just a random thought the discussion stirred up… LOL

    PS: I know, the answer to the above is “it depends”. LOL
    PPS: I LOVE The Replacements and also watch it as often as it pops up on cable! The cheerleaders make me laugh every time!


  • Amie Stuart
    September 29
    7:05 pm

    I know I’m a total dork but I LOVE your kitty! S/he looks just like my boy Rowdy!


  • Ann Bruce
    September 30
    4:37 am

    @Orannia – Someone who is “aiming to be paid for their writing” I would classify as an aspiring writer. And doesn’t the IRS consider writing a hobby if you can’t earn any income after three years or so?

    @Patrice – I going to stick with what Coach McGinty said. I volunteer to prep breakfasts and lunches for underprivileged students, but I don’t consider myself a professional chef. Nor do I consider myself a professional decorater just because I also volunteer to redecorate children’s bedrooms. I also volunteer to help build playgrounds in less affluent neighborhoods, but I don’t call myself a professional builder.

    As for pro bono work, it is undertaken by people who already are considered professionals in their fields…usually because of their paid work experience.

    And I’m stopping now because I feel like I’m stepping on a couple of kittens by disagreeing with you two.


  • Thanks for the link! I am glad you love my blog name. It will counterbalance the hatred I have developed for it.

    Regarding being “shallow”. I think I got your first paragraph, but later, when being shallow seemed to refer to prejudging another person and criticizing them before they even had a chance to speak…well, I definitely know the feeling (I feel that way about Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh), but in general, I personally would choose to stay out of the conversation rather than do that.

    As for being goofy and not overthinking things… of course that is totally wonderful and needed. In my own life, I find it hard to do. In other words, have pity for the humorless rational girl.


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