ursulav linked to a quiz posted recently on the Horror Writers Association website, in order to point out how limiting and poisonous it is. Essentially, the author of the article and quiz is of that breed of writer who assumes that if your life is not 100% consumed with writing, to the detriment of your social life and your finances, then you are not a professional. You are, instead, a hobbyist. She came to write this quiz after dropping into an online discussion group for writers to discover that they were, horror! talking about subjects other than writing!

I don't need to add my voice the growing number of eye-rollers in the comments on ursulav's blog, but I thought it would be funny to change the questions from writing to librarianship to see if I, a professional librarian, meet her criteria for "professional."

You need to reach at least 80% Yes, to be professional, according to her criteria, preferably 100%.

1. Is your home/work place messy because that time you’d put into cleaning it is better spent writing performing library tasks?

Well, let's see...my desk at work is messy because I'd rather be doing anything other than cleaning it, so I guess that's a technical yes.

2. Do you routinely turn down evenings out with friends because you need to be home writing at the library instead?


3. Do you turn off the television in order to write perform library tasks?

Technical yes, as I am working from home today and the television is not on.

4. Would you rather receive useful criticism than praise [about your library work]?

If I had to pick between one or the other, I'd pick the useful criticism, but I'd rather receive both. So, yes.

5. Do you plan vacations around writing library opportunites (either research or networking potential)?

Oh holy fuck no.

6. Would you rather be chatting about the business of writing librarianship with another writer librarian than exchanging small talk with a good friend?

Oh holy fuck no.

7. Have you ever taken a day job that paid less money because it would give you more time/energy/material to write library work?

Oh holy fuck no.

8. Are you willing to give up the nice home you know you could have if you devoted that time you spend writing working in libraries to a more lucrative career?

Um...no. Because one of the main reasons I'm in librarianship is because I cannot devote myselv to a more lucrative carrer, as they require tasks, long hours, and education I am not willing to commit myself to.

9. Have you done all these things for at least five years?

The above things I've done, I've done for at least five years, yes.

10. Are you willing to live knowing that you will likely never meet your ambitions, but you hold to those ambitions nonetheless?

Fuck you, I've already met them. I do not have to hold giant ambitions as regards my career to be a professional in it. My ambitions are: a job I like, with coworkers I like, and an income I can live with, that allows me to fund my hobbyist pursuits.

Final tally...40% Yes. 50% if you count #10 as a technical Yes. Apparently I'm not a professional librarian. I'm happy with that!

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded