Professionals eh? I think, generally, they’re just people who’ve managed to get stuff done ™. However, one other thing tends to differentiate them from those who are not professional. I don’t mean that in the sense that everyone else is unprofessional. More that professionals have a couple of habits that I find rather helpful.

  1. They know how to get stuff done – if they find blockages or obstacles, they don’t need someone to give them a manual, they try to figure it out for themselves
  2. They don’t take everything personally. People sometimes assume that they are their jobs and in those circumstances their egos can get bruised easily when things don’t go their way, when they’re not successful or, worse, when others disagree with them (or actually do them wrong). Professionals tend to stuff the emotional stuff down and deal with it later while they get the job done – they focus past the immediate.

Why this focus on professionals as if they’re some form of Greek hero?

In the very narrow context of anthologies – we’re working to open submissions for our first anthologies (go here to see the announcements) and we’re really very keen to get some people whose work we really love together with some people whose stories will be published for the very first time.

I don’t know what to expect in terms of quality, number or even styles. I’m pretty excited to tell the truth but what I’m also going to be looking for is people, who even if they’re new, have that air of professional to them – who bother to read the submissions guidelines and bother to submit on time. It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.

Of course, I talk about others but hey, we still have to be professional too and that’s a whole other story!