Cool Job of the Week: AUTHOR

This week’s Cool Job of the Week is one that’s near and dear to my heart: AUTHOR!

“Woman working Macbook” (photo credit:

Yes, I’m quite biased here, being one of the tribe. But if you can think of anything cooler than reading and writing for a living, I’d like to hear about it.

Okay, yes, there are many things that one might define as cool. Not all of us enjoy reading and writing. But for those that do, being an author is pretty much the epitome of awesome.

So, what does an author do all day?

An excellent question.

Depending on the type of author you are (fiction vs. nonfiction, and variable by genre), you will probably spend the majority of your day like so:

  • Researching material for your latest book
  • Scouring the internet for answers to obscure questions
  • Actually writing your book
  • Writing blog posts that relate somehow to your book
  • Writing proposals for books you’d like to write in the future (more so for nonfiction authors)
  • Pitching ideas or manuscripts to agents
  • Emailing back and forth with your agent/editor/publisher
  • Editing your book
  • Going over copy edits and/or proofs of your book
  • Receiving author copies of your book (yay!)
  • Checking out your Library of Congress listing (yay!)
  • Trying not to run off and start writing another book while you’re already working on something with a deadline
  • Checking your Amazon sales
  • Updating your author bio
  • Trying to figure out how to sell more books
  • Making plans to attend various in-person events to try to sell more books
  • Being witty on Twitter
  • Being sassy on Facebook
  • Trying to come up with something worthy of Pinterest and Instagram, when most of the stuff you’re dealing with is words on a screen
  • Jotting stuff down in various notebooks
  • Drinking coffee
  • Drinking more coffee
  • Attending writer’s group meetings and critique groups
  • Writing critiques, reviews, and blurbs for fellow authors
  • Responding to fan mail and messages
  • Drinking wine
  • Writing never-ending To Do Lists to keep track of all of the above AND MORE!

In short, an author’s work is never done! It’s an endless cycle of writing, revising, emailing things out for critique or publication, waiting to hear back, more editing, more emailing, and possibly, eventually, someday publication.

If that sounds horrible, you are not meant to be an author. You may instead be a writer of another sort! (Be forewarned: many writing jobs work in a similar fashion, and almost all require writing skill beyond that of conjuring up academic papers at the last minute.)

Authors are a special breed. We are probably crazy, deep down – or even just below the surface. We are definitely strange. We enjoy solitude, and prefer to be left alone with our computers and books.

But we also crave community, sharing our insanity with our fellow scribes. And that’s part of what makes the job so very weird.

So if you like to write things, no matter how serious or strange, perhaps you’re meant to be an author.

Got questions?

I’ve got answers! Heave ’em into the comments section, and I’ll do my best to respond in a short-but-sweet manner.

How to find happiness at work

According to a recent Gallup poll, 2 out of 3 working Americans don’t feel engaged at work. Indeed, 17.2% feel “actively disengaged” at work.

So what’s the solution?

As CNBC notes, both promotions and raises are important to on-the-job happiness. But, ultimately, job satisfaction is rare.

“Road warning sign” (photo credit: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

As another CNBC article notes, the 15 best jobs in America are:

  1. Data Scientist
  2. DevOps Engineer
  3. Data Engineer
  4. Tax Manager
  5. Analytics Manager
  6. HR Manager
  7. Database Administrator
  8. Strategy Manager
  9. UX Designer
  10. Solutions Architect
  11. Marketing Manager
  12. Occupational Therapist
  13. Audit Manager
  14. Electrical Engineer
  15. Nurse Practitioner

All of these jobs come with a median base salary of $72,000 a year or more, which is key, because another Gallup survey has indicated that $75,000 a year is the “perfect” salary for achieving happiness.

But is work just about money? The Gallup poll suggests no, as most employees rate working with people they like higher than simply receiving a decent salary.

So what’s the real deal?

If you can find a job that pays well and involves working with people you like, you’ve hit the job jackpot!

Looking for a job that’ll fit the bill?

Check out our A to Z posts for some suggestions for cool jobs to fit your interests!

Cool Jobs from A to Z: Reflections

The A to Z Challenge is over, and I’m exhausted! I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the coolest jobs I could find, for each letter of the alphabet. In case you missed any, you can find the full list of posts, in alphabetical order, over here.

I enjoyed writing these posts, although since my month ended up being pretty busy, I didn’t get to read most of my fellow participants’ blogs! I hope to get to some more posts in May, and see what I missed.

Of course, this isn’t the last you’ll see of World’s Coolest Jobs! I’ll keep you updated about even more cool jobs every week. To keep things interesting, I’ll be posting “Friday Fun” and “Odd Jobs,” along with new interviews with all kinds of people doing cool jobs.

I’ll also be turning my A to Z blogs into an expanded book called World’s Coolest Jobs by the end of this year – but I need your help!

If you or someone you know has a cool job, I’d love to hear all about it! I’ve created a self-interview page where you can tell me all about the work you do and why it’s so cool, here, so just click the link and fire away. Even if you’re not sure whether your job qualifies, I would still love to hear from you. Tell me what you like and dislike about your job, and why it challenges you! If I use your answers in the book, I’ll send you a copy on release day. How cool is that?

Thanks for reading along on my Cool Career Challenge, and I hope that my posts have inspired you to keep on learning, growing, doing and searching ’til you find your dream job!