Pro – a shortened version of Professional. According to the dictionary it means “expert, trained or experienced personnel, specially trained person.”
Today I received my e-mail confirmation to day that my PRO application was approved by the Romance Writers of America. I was so excited. Does that mean I have achieved – expert level? That I am a specially trained person?
What it means according to RWA is that I have finished a manuscript and have submitted to an editor or agent and have been REJECTED. Boy do I have proof of that. It took me a long time to apply for PRO status as the last time I submitted a manuscript was in the late 1990s. Even though PRO status hasn’t been around that long, I still felt like I was cheating the system. But, I followed the guidelines and by golly, I was accepted into that elite group.
Now, as for the definition – expert? Hardly. Anyone who is published or trying to be published knows that no one is an expert. Even those multi-published authors who share their expertise will admit that they are always learning, always, honing their craft. I believe I will never be an expert. I will become more knowledeable and willing to share my knowledge with others – but never an expert.
Will this change my excitiment about becoming a PRO? Not in the least. I’m looking forward to our state conference in June and standing up with other PRO members for recognition of the fact that yes – I have actually finished a manuscript – several in fact – and have taken the scary, scary step of submitting it to some unkown person, who has the power to say yea or nay. Not a small feat for anyone who is trying to become published.
Even though I am multi-published in non-fiction, I am still a newbie – no wait – a PRO – in the romance fiction world. I will keep writing, honing my craft and working toward that day when I will join the next step – publshed.