• Debbie Rasure

How to bolster your skills and confidence


Writers' Police Academy was one of the best conferences I've ever attended. Meeting the founder, Lee Lofland (center) was a real treat and as was getting to spend time with my fellow Sisters in Crime member, Rebecca.


Bolster your skills and confidence

Should you consider yourself a professional writer even if you haven’t been published? Even if you’ve never been paid for a single word you’ve written?

If your answer is “No,” then I challenge you to reconsider how you define professional.

Merriam-Webster says a professional is someone who:

  • Does a job that requires special training, education, or skill

  • Is a member of a profession

  • Is paid to participate in a sport or activity

  • Has a lot of experience or skill in a particular job or activity

I believe that if you are serious about your work and you are trying to write regularly, learning about the craft, and doing all you can to advance your writing career, then you are a professional writer.


One thing you can do to bolster your skills and your confidence is attend a conference, workshop, or seminar. This is especially important if you’re not part of a writing community.

Writing is a lonely business. Even if you’re an introvert (as I am), you still need to be with others occasionally who understand the profession and are struggling to find their place in it.


Plus, it’s really a lot of fun!


I haven’t been as intentional about conference attendance in the past as I should have been, but I’ve realized it is important to my development as a professional mystery writer. I’ve promised myself that I will attend at least one conference a year going forward. I hope you’ll make that same promise to yourself. Even events hosted by your library, local community college, or other group can be beneficial.

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