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.


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