Being a writer has it’s perks. There is the unlimited amount of caffeine that you, and others will allow you when you are working on a 7:00 am deadline, the hurried meals so that you can “get back to work”, and of course the prestige of saying, “yes I am a writer”.
Of course the non-writing world, and even our own families, have their own perspective and opinions of what we do. Most of them sorry to say, are wrong. Here is one such example.
Writing Myth: We Write Because We Can’t Get A “Real Job”.
My younger brother’s friend came over recently, just to talk and catch up with him. After my brother described his job and all of it’s responsibilities, his friend turned to me and asked what I did.
“I write”, I replied. To which he said ” So all you do is sit home and write?” Yep, that’s all writers do. Sit home and write while eating bonbons, and watching soaps. (I must interject here that my brother set him straight. “She writes for online companies, they pay her to write”)
If writing does not qualify as a real job, then what does? Perhaps we should break down what it is exactly that writers do.
Step #1. If they are blessed to be a staff writer, or have a reliable clients that need them to write constantly, that’s great! But for new writers or those that haven’t built a client list yet, the first step is to find a writing job.
Step #2. Once a writer has secured a job (after they have queried or applied for it), then they must put together a plan for the job. It might be an article they are writing on parenting where they will use their personal experience, or 10 articles of dishwashers, some thing they know nothing about. They have to plan for each job accordingly.
Step #3. Now comes the research time. This might involve interviewing people, reading industry reports, taking a trip to the local library, visiting a place of business, or reading online articles.
Step #4. After all of that, then the writer writes. This could either take days if they have a generous deadline, or hours if they have a client that needed those articles yesterday.
Step #5. Edit and revise, then send it off and wait for client or editor feedback. Then wait for payment.
Most writers are also parents, wives, husbands, church members, etc, with the responsibilities that go with each of those. Some writers have other full or part time jobs, in addition to their writing job.
And if they are “at home”, writers usually get called upon to do things for other people, as well as keeping their own house clean, dropping off and picking up their own kids, cooking, and a myriad of other things.
So there you go, the glamorous writer’s life revealed. If you are a writer, don’t ever let people get you down by saying “Is that all you do?”
Just a few tips from an aspiring writer chick :).
Peace And Success!