You want to be a professional? ACT like one (great tips!)
oleh Shienny Megawati Sutanto pada 11 Februari 2011 jam 15:27
When you meet unpublished writers/ author/ illustrator/etc who act like pros, you form the immediate impression that it's only a matter of time before they make it. This impression is not lost on agents and editors.
So what are the marks of a professional?
1. Grooming. Successful writers-in-waiting look professional. They do not come off as slobs or slackers. They dress sharply though unpretentiously. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but we do it all the time with people. Don't shoot down your first impression by looking unkempt or having stink-breath that can kill low flying birds.
2. Industry knowledge. Professionals know something about their profession. They spend time reading blogs and books and the trades, though not to the exclusion of their writing.
3. To the point. A pro has the ability to focus on what the other person (e.g., an agent) will find valuable and, most important, can deliver that in a concise and persuasive manner. You should be able to tell someone, in 30 seconds or less, what your book is about, in such a way that the person can immediately see its potential.
4. Courtesy. Common courtesy goes a long way. If you have an appointment with an agent, be there two minutes early. When you're done, thank them. Follow up with a short and appropriate e-mail. Don't call them unless you've been invited to. Don't get angry or petulant, even if there's a reason for it. Burning bridges is never a good career move.
5. Take action every day. Over the long haul, a successful professional in any field is always in a growth mode. Always looking for ways to improve, studying, doing, taking action toward goals. When you do this, day after day, you begin to build momentum. That, in turn, will fuel your confidence and keep you going. And there is nothing an unpublished writer needs more than motivation to keep going.
So . . . keep writing. Keep learning. And act like a pro.
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