The difference between an amateur and a professional writer

“…that was the moment I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”

-Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

I must be a professional writer. I don’t feel like writing today. I don’t feel that what I’m writing is particularly good. I still like the story, but I’m not so thrilled with the way the writer puts words on the page.

I’m going to keep going anyway.

Patricia Anderson describes four stages of writing for publication:

  1. Writing for the joy of it
  2. Cultivating discipline and the will to revise
  3. Understanding—and accepting—market dictates and the business of publishing
  4. Writing as a job

Today, it is a job.

That’s okay. I’m going to keep going anyway.


4 thoughts on “The difference between an amateur and a professional writer

  1. McB says:

    Ah yes. If you want to make money doing something, it then becomes a job. Which I guess is the downside of making a living at something you did for enjoyment. Now what do you do for entertainment? I guess I will pass on a career as a professional reader.

    • Evelyn Hill says:

      The good thing about this particular job is that most of the time I get so caught up in the writing that I don’t notice the time passing. (Not today, true. But usually.)
      “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem

  2. robakers says:

    No matter what it is, as soon as your doing it for money. The fun is automatically taken away. Having said that, writing for money is better than cleaning toilets for fun.


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