Professional writing, non-professional writing, serious writing, novice writing, hobbyist writing. So many terms, it would make your head spin. I’ve heard some arguments that professional writing relates to money: if you are earning enough to make a full-time living from your writing then you must be a professional writer. I beg to differ. In my opinion a professional, or if you like, a serious writer differs from a non-professional writer in a few distinct ways that are nothing to do with money. What are those ways, I hear you ask?


1. Makes time to write on a regular basis, even when not in the mood.

2. Takes editorial feedback well and improves their craft based on advice given from proofreaders and beta readers.

3. Works to deadlines if doing work for other people, including editors, copy editors, etc.

4. Views writing as their profession and takes a serious approach to advertising and marketing their work.

5. Has a thick skin: takes rejections in their stride and not as a personal attack (if submitting to publishers) and does not brood on negative reviews. It’s all part of the job.


6. Writes occasionally and/or as a hobby.

7. Afraid to share poetry/stories due to fear of rejection or worried about what others may think.

8. Writes mainly because it is required as part of a creative writing course, or class and not because they view it as their profession.

What do you think? Any more you could add to the list? Do you disagree with my differentiation between the two? Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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