Before I begin my questions this month, I want to share something the Scranton Library posted in November called Pre-Pub Friday where an upcoming book is promoted.

For this Friday in November, the rules were changed to promote Arrivals and Departures. Follow the link below to hear what is said about the book:
Several reviews are in for Arrivals and Departures at Amazon and they are all positive. 4+ and above.

Have you purchased your copy yet? If not, go here:
Now onto the questions:
When are you a writer? 
I believe you’re a writer, the moment you put pen to paper or type words on a screen. Whether you simply journal or write stories, fiction or nonfiction, the moment you start writing is when you’re a writer. A writer must write. If you spend hours and days writing, then you’re a writer. If you can’t stop, if like me, writing is like breathing, that you must do it to maintain your life, then you’re a writer. But are you professional? 
When do you become professional? 
You can certainly write without any desire to become professional. I think in every writer’s heart however is a desire to become professional, to see their name in print. Some writers may feel intimidated to send their work out. They may suffer from imposter syndrome. Maybe they feel they’re not good enough. That’s not up to you to decide. Get over the fear. You won’t know how anyone feels about your writing unless you start marketing your work. Follow Robert Heinlein's Rules of Writing: 
i. You must write. 
ii. You must finish what you write. 
iii. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order. 
iv. You must put the work on the market. 
v. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold. 
Pay close attention to the last two rules, because if you have ANY desire to cross the threshold to professional, those two rules are imperative. Lose your fear and start marketing your work. I’ll add a sixth rule. One I’ve lived by: 
vi. Don’t let anyone tell you No you can’t do that. 
So, to answer question #2, you become professional when someone pays you in money for your writing. Note I said money, because many small press markets pay in copies. In other words, you will receive copies of the magazine, newspaper etc. where your story appears. Until you receive monetary compensation you are not considered professional. Continue marketing until you receive monetary compensation and even after your first payday don’t stop. 
When is it time to consider creating a website? 
Once you have a few professionally published stories/articles/books it is probably time to think about a website. And purchase a domain name. If your name is available, then use it. If you use WordPress, then use and don’t create a website like this: That shows that you’re not serious enough to have your own domain. is the way to go. 
How do you handle writer’s block? 
Fortunately, I write short stories and I tend to have multiple stories going at the same time. If I get stuck on a particular story and can’t find my way out, I will go to another story I’m writing. Generally, putting my mind in another setting and another character’s head helps. I’m still writing and eventually I’ll return to the stuck story. At the moment, I’m working on the sequel to a book that was published in October 2020. The second story in the sequel is giving me lots of agita, because I’m aware it needs to be reworked yet again. I don’t like the way I’m telling the story, so I’ve been avoiding it. I understand the story won’t fix itself, but I continue to avoid working on it. I’ve been writing and editing two other stories in the book. It’s not really writer’s block in this case, it’s more like writer avoidance. How do you battle writer’s block and writer avoidance? 
Is anyone interested in having a Zoom discussion/Q&A regarding my writing? Or are you happy enough with my monthly updates? Entirely up to you.

I created a free account where up to 100 people can join in at a 40 minute time limit. Saturdays after 230pm is the best time for me. Reply to this email with Zoom as the subject.
See you in April when I discuss the writing process I'm going through with the sequel to Arrivals and Departures.
C. Jennings Penders Books

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