With many people rethinking their employment options, it’s possible some might be considering whether taking up writing may be the way to go.
Working as a freelance writer has many benefits. You always get what you want in the Secret Santa draw and you’ll never be troubled by pesky issues such as how to invest your retirement income.
For those wondering if being a writer is right for you, I offer: Are You A Writer?
1. You’ve just submitted your completed manuscript. Your publisher calls.
Publisher: We love it, it’s fabulous, it’ll sell millions. (Truthfully, I have never heard a publisher say that, but I dare to dream. What they really say is ... It seems OK. You just need to make it longer.)
P: Much longer.
You: Would you like me to get taller as well?
P: Can you do that?
You: It’s a book. You write until the story is finished and then … it’s finished.
P: I’m a publisher. I know that. We just need you to finish about 6,000 words later.
a) Throw a hissy fit, complain the world does not appreciate your artistic vision and you bet no one treats John Grisham like this.
b) Report your publisher to the human rights commission, which will use it as the “Entertaining Call of the Week” in its newsletter.
c) Sit down, write 6,000 more words and feel lucky.
2. You’re invited to read at an event alongside a famous, bestselling author. At the book-signing tables, her lineup snakes out the auditorium, through the parking lot, into a neighbouring township. You, on the other hand, have time to learn a foreign language.
a) Sit and contemplate with delight the success of your fellow author.
b) Tell your mother she’d better get over to your table right now or you’re sending her your therapy bills.
c) Join the crowd and hock the signed copy on EBay.
3. You’ve written a book that will save humankind. Publishers keep turning it down on the basis of it being 2,356 pages long and almost entirely incomprehensible.
a) Self publish. The world needs to know.
b) Call the human rights commission and make its newsletter again.
c) Trim it to 360 words, add a religious scandal and a sex scene and prepare to field publishing offers.
If you answered mostly c’s, you’ll make millions. Mostly a’s and b’s, congratulations, you’re a writer.
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