Entering my third year as an indie, it is my responsibility to impart sage wisdom to the world. (Don’t blink, or you might miss it.) See the series introduction post for more on my saga. But for now, lesson #9 for 2012:
Put professional effort into everything you do, or don’t do it.
Being professional is about doing whatever it is you do for others rather than yourself. A writer can write for him or herself. A professional writer must (to an extent) write for the reader. That is what it means to be professional. I can build myself a house and therefore be a builder. But if I build you a house, I damn well better be a professional. (Unless you’re okay with things like load-bearing posters and remembering to walk around certain spots in the floor.)
No matter how small the job, a builder’s career can be on the hook if he/she slops the hogs instead of feeding the chicks. Indie writers should live by the same rule.