Miles From Fenway

The Definition of Professional
June 29, 2007, 2:58 pm
Filed under: work, writing

pro-fes-sion-al– adj. – Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career
writ-er– n. – a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., esp. as an occupation or profession

When I was in college, all I wanted in the world was to be able to call myself a writer. It was, I figured, a pursuit that likely would never come to fruition. Writing doesn’t pay well, you see, and unfortunately I was not all that keen on living with my parents. So instead of devoting myself to a craft I loved so much, instead of taking the risk, going to graduate school and immersing myself in literary endeavors, I did what so many of my fellow word-loving-geeks do: I got a job fixing other people’s writing. I went into publishing.

There has not been a day since when I have not participated in some sort of writing activity. Who knew college professors don’t actually know how to write their own textbooks!

My word quota has upped significantly in the past couple of years as I’ve moved into the nonprofit sector. Turns out “Publications Manager” and “Online Content Manager” are just fancy ways to say: you’re going to write until your fingers get all puffy. Articles, announcements, newsletters, direct mail campaigns, websites, brochures, you name it, I’ve probably written it.

But through all this, I never thought of myself as a writer. A writer was someone who writes books or poems or articles. Who doesn’t go into an office every day. And yet yesterday, someone I highly respect introduced me via email to someone as a “Professional Writer”. I almost laughed. Who did he think he was kidding? I’m not a professional writer! I’m a professional …


Hold on a second …

Holy crap!

A professional is someone who gets paid to do something right? Ok, so I get paid to sit here and write copy all day …

Damn. Turns out I’m a writer after all.


4 Comments so far
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Funny how it works, right? I guess I’m one too, though I call myself a Marketing Writer sometimes to explain what I do.

Comment by Esther

Professional, hobby, whatever.
I know that it’s nice to finally hear it.
On the other hand, if you were scrubbing toilets for a living, I know that you’re always a very nice read! I always look forward to your updates.

Comment by Anonymous

I’m just a bat boy, but I think you’re a very good writer!


Comment by RS bat boy

Fine Writer, FiNY:

To The Utter Collapse of The Evil Empire;

I’ll drink to THAT;


Comment by Michael Leggett

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