Reflections on Professional Writing

You’re reading the final post of my college professional writings. Outside of college assignments, I will continue to post periodically within the Professional Writing section of this blog as topics come to mind and as I make progress in my writing career. I’ve received two salient takeaways from developing this blog category.

1.       Perspective

Through the three-month exercise of creating and writing for the Professional Writing category of this website, I’ve been forced to explore several career possibilities to pursue after earning my English degree later this year. A major regret I have from my pre-college life is not having a vision of where I’d be in five years, ten years, and, actually, I often didn’t plan where I’d be two years into the future; I just . . . lived – worked, paid bills, and I tried to have fun with whatever extra cash I had. Worse than this lack of life planning, I wasted my love of reading and learning through hours upon hours of self-education rather than redirecting that time toward earning a degree.

After putting months of energy into completing a 280-page manuscript and a year before that writing a ~200-page unfinished manuscript, I joined a writer’s group where I found myself surrounded by people with MFA’s. Before joining the group, I paid an editor or two to help polish my completed manuscript. Through associating with these people, I learned I could save a lot of time and money on my book publishing journey by furthering my English education to acquire the knowledge to refine my writing and editing skills. So, three years ago, I focused on higher education.

My manuscript was beta read by over fifteen people and enjoyed by most, some encouraged me to publish it as it was. However, after several writer’s group meetings and collaboration with editors I paid, I learned that while the structure and grammar of my manuscript seemed fine to lay people, it was “not ready” for publication. Let’s say I committed some storytelling blunders, and my high school level grammar was inadequate for the adult fiction, 45-chapter, 280-page undertaking that was my completed MS. I put the cart before the horse, and now I face the chore of revising the entire manuscript – possibly core elements of it – and rewriting my partially completed manuscript from the beginning (because it’s rubbish).

The emotion-driven act of writing two manuscripts while being oblivious of grammatical standards above high school level and modern storytelling conventions is similar to how I approached my post-graduation career prospects: winging it, going with the flow, and hoping to stumble upon something rewarding. Before starting a Professional Writing category on this site at the directive of an Advanced Professional Writing course, I figured I’d find a position and place comfortable enough to work and earn a living, but not one to commit to. However, while building the blog category, I had to take a step back and more carefully consider ideal positions and environments to work in and possibly turn into a career. This exercise gave me a vision to follow post-graduation.

2.       Courage to let go

Writing this professional blog has helped me overcome my hesitance to write on this website. I registered this domain after joining the previously-stated writer’s group, whose members convinced me that having a website to promote writings is customary for modern authors. True. However, although I post regularly on another website unrelated to promoting my stories without hesitation, I get anxious when posting on this site – it’s an “author’s site.” I fear publishing a post that is poorly developed or full of typos; hence, the past infrequency of posts on this now three or four-year-old website.

Last Word

The act of building the Professional Writing category of this blog, has aided me in narrowing down what positions I’d actually enjoy pursuing post-graduation: freelance writing, marketing, and communications. I’ve also overcome my hesitation to write on this site. Although the focus of this category strays from the original intent of this site, the act of posting regularly, as assigned by my university, has made me more comfortable doing so in the future. From here on, much of the posts on this site will be focused on professional and non-fiction writing. I have created a new website for my fiction work under an epicene pseudonym; I’ve decided total anonymity is most suitable for the blueprint of my fiction work. All existing content related to my manuscripts will soon be transferred to that domain. Look out for a post sharing the name of the website in the future.

Thanks for reading.

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