Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Writing, Money, and Skill

A friend of mine and I were talking about what makes a professional.  Well, money does.  If you charge for something, it's pro work; if you don't, it's a hobby.

Quality is a different issue.  Most people with talent are going to produce some work that's rather good quite early on; it's what clues them or someone else that this is an area worth developing.  But you need practice, and preferably training, to turn those glimmers into steady shine.  Then  you have higher quality and consistent performance.

It got me thinking, when I was in junior high, I decided to practice poetry.  So I wrote one a day, every weekday, for several years.  My first epic dates back that far and was a hundred pages long, I think 5 verses a page but might have been 4, in rhymed quatrains.  I'd been published off and on in various venues growing up.  I was 16 the first time I made money at it, so that's what I count as my threshold.  That's roughly four years after I started doing serious writing practice on my own.  I don't think that's an accident.  Many of the other folks I know who were published -- especially for pay -- pretty young also had some kind of personal development framework.

I just thought you-all might be interested in the timing.  
Tags: personal, writing

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