Professional or amateur? How would you class yourself as a writer? If writing is your main source of income then obviously you are a professional, but for those of us who have to supplement our fees and royalties with a day, or night, job the way we go about our writing defines us.
Or so I read recently.
Professional writers apparently don’t check social media first thing in the morning. They go straight to the file and down to work. Nor do they allow themselves any surreptitious peeks during the day. No glancing through emails or scrolling down Facebook. For them writing fills the time and if they are not writing then they are busy promoting their writing, or researching their next novel, or mapping out another short story.
Amateurs however do all the above. They also spend time justifying why they are not writing, or cannot write that day.
Me? I do both. Some days I write for as many hours as I can manage to hunch over my PC. Then I market my novel, or send out another short story. On other days, however, I spend far too much time communicating with Facebook friends, answering emails, or becoming engrossed in enthralling threads on the various forums I belong to.
Should this be a matter of concern? Should I change my ways? Or is the best thing to do is simply chill out? Like the cat Anuk Naumann’s painting stretch out and let the world go by and let the writing take care of itself.
Life is more than what you do. It’s who you are, and who you are is not just a writer. It might be a parent, it will be a son or a daughter, a friend, a teacher, an employer and so the list goes on.
I think that the fuller a life you lead, the wider your experience and richer your writing. There’s time for the professional attitude, the amateur one and then the chilling out, the going with the flow and letting the imagination free.