Rarely do legal contracts amuse, entertain, or titillate. But the contract I signed this week did all those things. Do you see how excited I look posing in front of my Angel Punk post-it note plot/character board? And the title of this post, you ask? Actual quote from the contract:
“WHEREAS, the Writer is an experienced writer of heroes, scientists, and adventurer…”
That line got me thinking about another line, the line working writers need to cross from hobby writer to professional writer. I spent many years as what I would call a hobby writer. I wrote when inspired. I wrote when I got dumped. I wrote when I felt all Zen. Words were a way to process my internal experiences and to understand my world.
I got very lucky with my first book. Paddle My Own Canoe was written out of grief and as a tribute after my grandmother died. I read it at her memorial service. The editor who published my grandmother’s memoir was in the audience. She approached me about publishing the poem, which we did the following year.
And thus I stepped over the line… I put aside the other professional plans that I laid out. My husband agreed that it was time to give writing the full-time chance it deserved. For me that meant, joining professional writing organizations, taking workshops to improve my craft, printing business cards, and writing on a regular schedule. But perhaps the most important step was claiming the title.
“What do you do?”
“I’m a writer.”
And now… with four books out and a contract for a YA novel that will be out next year, I wear that appellation pretty comfortably. I’m ready to take it up a notch.
“WHEREAS I am an experienced writer of heroes, scientists, and adventurers.”