Are You a Professional Writer?


Do you write on the job? Are you paid for writing on the job? If so, that makes you a professional writer.

A “professional writer” is someone who is being paid to write consistent, dependable numbers of words regularly – no matter how he or she feels, whether inspired or not. We are not always going to be positive, happy, and generally “up,” especially over the holidays when there is so much to get done, and we are often distracted.

Here are some ways you can “fall back on technique,” to write clearly and effectively, even when inspiration is on vacation:

1. Resist the urge to let “attitude” takeover – especially in writing, especially when you are tired, or distracted with too much to get done, and too little time to do it in.

Think of “attitude” translated into writing – on purpose or unconsciously, as “tone” – the relationship we are using our writing to build, or to reinforce with the reader. “Tone” can not only reflect your attitude, your stress, your feeling of being overwhelmed, but the reader’s as well.

Consider especially how that reader is feeling right now and how he or she is likely to “hear” what you have written, above the noise of all the other thoughts that are crowding in on his or her decision-making process.

2. Enlist your subconscious to help.

While you are doing “holiday things,” or washing the dishes, or walking the dog, let your mind wander a bit to the message, or to the project you have to write. Keep pen and paper handy wherever you are to capture your thoughts immediately in list form.

Think about that project as you drift off to sleep. Make notes as ideas occur to you during the night, when you wake up, and while the thoughts are still fresh.

Don’t waste good thoughts! Hang on to them! These are the grist for good writing, writing that will be clear and effective, especially for those tough, emotional, or worrisome pieces you write on the job.

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We’ll be happy to bring a Gail Tycer workshop to your organization. To discuss a workshop for your people at your location or ours, or a shorter presentation for an upcoming meeting, give us a call at 503/292-9681, or email us at


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