The Four Weird Things People Will Say When You Tell Them You’re a Professional Writer
The idea of the life of a writer is a lot more glamorous than the actual life of a writer.
People picture me typing on a beautiful vintage typewriter, sipping delicious coffee in a clay mug, while longingly glancing outside at the picture-perfect nature scene outside of my window.
Alternatively, they may picture a life of art, sex, and drugs à la Charles Bukowski.
In reality, I am typing manically on my phone because “I have to write this article now”, while my daughter hauls on my arm, even after I played with her for two hours. There is nature outside, but I have no time to stare longingly at it. Truthfully, I barely had time to comb my hair today.
These days, I work longer and harder than when I had a conventional full-time job.
Yet, the stereotypes of a writer persist.
“Why don’t you try getting a real job?”
Writing is a real job. Many companies hire writers to market their ideas, come up with slogans, and write their blogs.
We may not work 40 hours a week (with research it’s more like 60), but we are doing a job and our livelihood depends on being paid.
Our customer service skills have to be excellent so we can provide exactly what our client desires. We have to be willing to change whatever details they want to make our product worth coming back for, again and again.
We have to be self-governing, excellent at time management, and file taxes as an entrepreneur. All while juggling our personal lives.
Just because something isn’t normal to the masses, doesn’t make it less valuable or tangible.
“Be careful, writers don’t make much money”
Actually, some of us do. With only two to five years of experience, a good writer can make a dollar a word in some fields of writing. Yes, $500 for 500 words, and it takes about an hour to write an article of this length.