This week’s Cool Job of the Week is one that’s near and dear to my heart: AUTHOR!
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.
I’ve got answers! Heave ’em into the comments section, and I’ll do my best to respond in a short-but-sweet manner.