Whether you’re writing an ebook, are a general author who is self-publishing, or you are a freelance copywriter, you likely have experienced the misunderstandings that come along with your profession. Unfortunately, often times those misconceptions come directly from those who should love and support you the most. If this scenario sounds familiar, you will appreciate the list below that communicates a few facts about your job you wish your family and friends understood and respected. If you agree with the list, send it around to those individuals in your life who could use a little help understanding your chosen career:
You Work Odd Hours:
If you are a freelance writer, you know there is really no such thing as a night or weekend off. In fact, even the occupational description for freelance writer on the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most freelancers have to work odd hours, including weekends and evenings in order to meet deadlines. What this means then is that even though you may be “at home” you are not necessarily free to run errands or help take care of other peoples' responsibilities. Note to family members and friends: Don't expect a writer to run errands for you or take care of your kids. Just because they are home, doesn't mean they aren't working.
Yes, It’s a Real Job:
Another misnomer associated with writing as a career is that it is not a “real” job. That is just foolish though, because even the aforementioned Bureau of Labor Statistics has it listed as an occupation and has a median income listed as well, for writers who work full time. Therefore, since it is considered an occupation by those at the bureau, it should certainly be considered a valid occupation by your family and friends. Note to family members and friends: Any work that helps pay a bill or earn extra money for extra niceties is not just a hobby, it's job.
No, Not Everyone Can Do It:
You probably have had well-meaning friends and family members ask you how you do what you do and just assume that they too can jump on their computers and do exactly what you do without any effort. This can be aggravating, because it implies that there is nothing “special” about what you do, since they feel anyone could pick it up in a day. However, you know that a writer is an artist of sorts, and even though you can improve your craft though sites like Grammerly, your inborn talent is what makes you a writer. Consider the consequences if this same way of thinking was applied with other occupations. For example, what if someone approached a Neurologist and implied that if the good doctor simply told them what they did and how they got into it that they too could do the job of a neurologist? Yes, it would be crazy, but people do it this all the time when it comes to writing. Note to family members and friends: Please respect the talent it takes to make money as a writer. Don't assume you could do it as well, just because you can type and own a computer.
You Work Hard Too:
This fact doesn’t necessarily pertain to only writers, as many office workers are also accused of not actually working hard since they sit at a desk to work. This is a mistake, because as you know, even though you might not have been outside hefting boards, using a tractor or hauling rock, you have been working. Therefore, at the end of your workday, you are plenty tired. Note to family members and friends: Please understand that a hard day or work is a hard day of work regardless of where that works takes place.
Most likely, the facts listed above include at least one point with which you can relate, perhaps more. Writers in general have a difficult job that is oft disrespected and misunderstood. Therefore, spread this content around so those who don’t know can finally understand what it's really like to write for a living.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!