Friday, January 20, 2012


It only takes one person to change your life – you.
Ruth Casey
There comes a point in ones writing career when you realize the importance of acting like a professional. If you’re just writing to make friends, to be popular, to just plain old have fun, then you are in the wrong business. Maybe you should think of joining a circus, or a carnival, or perhaps a day care where the children don’t want you to be professional, they want a like-minded person who is funny and will play all the time. Remember, they WANT Bozo the Clown for a friend!

When you join the writing sites, it is pretty important that you come off as a professional. You never know if a prospective editor, agent, or publisher is sitting right next to you, observing you before she/he approaches you. If they see that you can’t even act professional, why would they want to take something as serious as getting you published and helping you with it, into their professional business?

Allow me to ask this, when you submit your work, are you going to put cute little hearts on your work, a few woohoos; are you going to sign it with (hugs)? I’m just here to tell you, that your work will go right in the trash! Why? Because not only did you not adhere to the guidelines, it was because you were very unprofessional in the submission of your work!

As teachers of writing, we have to set proper examples for the new writer to follow. When we act in a childish manner, the newcomer finds this as an example to follow and they go on acting like a child, then the whole class begins acting like a child, then the classroom erupts in crazy behavior and becomes a circus-like atmosphere. Which has me running for the exit. But it has the newcomer embracing the silliness, and then the entire school is acting crazy and unprofessional and makes me not want to be a part of the writing world!

I will not take seriously anything someone is trying to teach me if they continuously shout out “WOOHOO” with a smiley or the words, woohoo. An occasional smiley might make them feel welcome, but the annoying over use makes you appear not very knowledgeable, or better yet, very unprofessional in the field. You’re waging a popularity contest, an ego boost, and in hindsight, you’ve created a series of fellow performers. You were just suppose to teach lessons.

The RINGMASTER - YOU, the teacher! The one who is guiding and leading has trained:
CLOWNS - these are the folk that follow your insanity and lead others too!
TIGHTROPE WALKERS - these are the ones that stand high above you looking down, wondering what they got themselves into.
TRAPEZE ARTISTS - these are the ones who swing all around the place, trying to fit in, and showing off their silliness, as you taught them!
JUGGLERS - Who juggle many sites, doing the same thing. Running around being crazy.

Now don’t get me wrong, the newcomer is frightened as it is upon entering a new course, and when they see someone acting like a goof, they then think, “Hey, this is an okay place! I feel at home.” Then they go onto acting a little loose too, where otherwise they might have remained professional. I say this: Know your boundaries! Set your limits! Know that the writing community is full of professional people, just waiting to help you along your path. Even the ‘stiff shirts’ can be a little zany sometimes, but we know what our job is and that is to guide you in the RIGHT direction, not skirt you off to the circus!

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