Views From The Captain’s Chair! Episode Four: Professionalism!

Captains ChairBlog

Ahoy, Mateys!

Time for some more Views From The Captain’s Chair!

This week’s post will be short and sweet. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have been slammed with finishing the manuscript to Z-Burbia 3: Estate Of The Dead. I’m in the final edits and should have that off to my publisher by Friday. Yay!

Why has that held up getting a blog post in? Because I usually write on Monday morning, edit on Tuesday, then publish on Wednesday. But this week I needed to finish first round edits of Z3 as well as listen to audio and approve that for the audiobook of Z-Burbia. That has eaten into my time.

But there has also been something that has eaten into my time and that’s this crazy little internet spat going on regarding a blog post by Chuck Wendig. First, let me say I agree with Chuck 100%. Why? Because I read the whole post and actually understood what it meant. I didn’t see it as an attack on anything other than sub-par publishing. It wasn’t an attack on self-publishing, that’s for sure. The beauty of being a writer is I know how to read and understand what I read. Those that got all bent out of shape over his post? Yeah, not so much.

Yet, this post won’t be about self-publishing/traditional publishing/author-publishing/1,000 chimpanzee publishing (working on that one). Nope, this post is about professionalism.

Like I said above, this will be short and sweet, mainly because the more words I add in here the more words some folks will try to argue with. So let me spell this out clearly:

If you write then you are a writer.

If you make any money from your writing then you are a professional writer, as opposed to being a hobbyist or amateur. But, that doesn’t make you a professional.

The only thing that makes you professional is holding yourself up to certain standards. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, architects, etc. These are professions that have minimum standards to ensure quality work done within each profession. The problem with being a writer is it is also an art. Who’s to say what the standard for art is? You can’t. It’s the very nature of art that makes it impossible to set standards. Eye of the beholder and all that jazz.

Yet, we can have minimum standards for the work itself, if not the artistic merit. For a writer this means: edited and proofread copy, quality book covers, and behavior becoming a professional. Anyone that can’t live up to those simple standards should find a new profession. Those aren’t hard standards, they just takes work. And if you aren’t willing to put in the work then you aren’t going to be considered a professional.

That’s it. No more details, no metaphors, no bullet points. Act like a professional and you are one. Act like a petulant three-year old that wants it NOW and you’re just an amateur. Argue sales all you want, but money just makes you a professional writer, not an actual professional.

And there’s a difference. A big one.

And that’s it, folks. Short and sweet.

Now, I have to get back to editing Z-Burbia 3: Estate Of The Dead as well as listen to eight hours of audio. And plot out my next novel. Plus, plot out six middle grade novels. That’s called work; work I do because I’m a professional.


Disclaimer: Views From The Captain’s Chair are just that: views. These are not laws. These are not set in stone. I could be totally wrong. I could be off my rocker (shut up). I could be full of S-H-I-T. I could change my mind next week. All of that is possible. Who knows? But if even just a little of this helps you then I’m happy with that. If it just makes you stop and think then I’ve done my job. Which I really need to get back to. Blogging don’t pay for the bourbon! Oh, and the whole Captain’s Chair thing? Yeah, I write in a captain’s chair. It’s true, Mateys! Got a question? Need some one on one? Shoot me an email, a DM, a PM (no BMs) or comment below.

Jake Bible lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two kids.

A professional writer since 2009, Jake has a proven record of innovation, invention and creativity. Novelist, short story writer, independent screenwriter, podcaster, and inventor of the Drabble Novel, Jake is able to switch between or mash-up genres with ease to create new and exciting storyscapes that have captivated and built an audience of thousands.

Posted on January 29, 2014, in Views From The Captain's Chair! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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