Call me a pro, NaBloPoMo

Poppies in the Sunset on Lake Geneva. It's a lovely walk along the promenade in Montreux.

Credit: Eric Hill, under Creative Commons License

Today’s writing prompt is about what I think I’m really good at. What I consider myself to be a real “pro” of. And the more I mulled over it the whole day, the more weirded out I got because the prospect of slapping a “Pro” label on anything I like or do makes me feel like a bit of a douche.

This analysis paralysis is rather pathetic, because I’m in marketing and communications. Have been for over a decade. The idea that I’m balking at the prospect of marketing my good side is ironic at best. I find I can talk about myself at length, but when you start asking me to attach some kind of Likert scale to define details… well.

There’s this sudden self-effacement; this fear of stupendous hubris with some crazy fall off some proverbial cliff in the next two blog posts. Suddenly I’m looking at my place in the world at large, and the voices in my head are quizzically whispering things like, “Pro… compared to whom?” and “Define Pro, Miss La-Di-Da”

*shake fist at tall poppy syndrome*

I’ve been doing online communications for my company since 2006 – so I’ve managed things like website strategy and management, and social media. I’ve championed “new media” – which isn’t new anymore since that descriptor is so 1990s. Still, a lot of my job involves convincing others that online media is here-and-now media. So I have some powers of persuasion. And I knock many heads together that otherwise refuse to see eye to eye, so I have some stakeholder management skills. And I wrangle monies from several budgets with the might of the pen and the bling of statistics and graphs, so I have some negotiation and presentation skills. And I dismantle and assemble whole websites from start to finish, so I have Big Picture thinking and proven project management skills. Even ran out and got me a certificate to prove the latter.

But does that make me a pro?

I’ve also done marketing, event and conference management, and public relations… and that’s when it hit me this afternoon – I write. I’ve been writing for all of them. I write, because all my jobs largely depend on it. I also love those jobs because I love to write. Funny how it’s a life skill I’ve been using professionally and personally for, literally, decades but just because my official job title doesn’t say “Writer”, I don’t think to say that I’m rather swish with the pen.

And I know I’m rather swish with the pen, because it’s been my bread and butter for a while. I have a long way to go yet, and I’m by no means a goddess at it. But I’m a professional writer. I write all the time. And when I grow up, I’ll still be a writer, God willing.

Oh yes – I sing, too. But no one ever pays me money to do it.

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