Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Dear Sceptics...

Writing is a real job. Really. I know this may come as a shock to you - and I'm very sorry if I've somehow shattered your view of the world - but writing is a real job. And I don't just mean journalism and writing articles for Important Publications. I mean writing fiction. That unholy of unholies. Novels. I see you shuddering already.

But it's true. It's a real job. See these definitions of the word job

a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one's occupation or for an agreed price: She gave him the job of mowing the lawn.
a post of employment; full-time or part-time position: She was seeking a job as an editor.
No doubt you will have noted the words employment, occupation and price there. As strange as this may sound, being a writer actually fulfills the above criteria. I write books. People will hopefully read those books. It's a job. Honest. 

Perhaps you thought a Real Job meant having a secure, stable and certain job. Now I will admit such a job is tempting (though if you can find me any secure, stable and certain jobs in this warm and cuddly economic climate, I'll eat my boot). I like security, stability and certainty. I watch my husband's bank account in awe, marvelling at how, like clockwork, he gets money once a month. Like magic! One of these clockwork magic jobs would be nice, I'm sure.

But on the other hand, I'm happy with writing. Which is a real job, by the way. And here's why:

1. I get to work in my pyjamas. Or in a cocktail dress. Or naked. Or while lying in bed! Imagine that

2. I get to be six years old again and make up stories - only this time no one dares accuse me of being a dreadful little liar

3. I get to drink wine/liqueur/neat vodka while I'm working and people call it artistic, not irresponsible - and no one's going to sack me for doing it either

4. I get to hang out on Twitter and Facebook and this blog and still claim I'm working

5. Did I mention I get to make up stories?

6. And, because this always comes up, yes, I do actually get paid to make up those stories too. Which means I have a real job. And you have to admit it's kind of a cool one too.

So, you know. I work. Like a - gasp - real person. So please don't ever ask me when I'm going to get a real job again. Because I might have to punch you on the nose. Sorry in advance.



  1. LOL. I totally agree--writing is a job!

    And you can't beat making up stories. :)

  2. @The Golden Eagle: making up stories is the best, isn't it?!

    Ha, Alex, well there are downsides to not having one of those stable, secure jobs alongside the writing. I suppose I should have mentioned the stress, uncertainty and fingernail-biting anxiety - but the good stuff definitely outweighs the bad!

  3. Love your pic, Sangu! You're gorgeous! =D

    And writing is the best job EVER!

  4. Thanks, Christine, I was hoping to make a few writers laugh!

    RaShelle, that's so sweet, thank you. And it IS the best job ever.

  5. Lol, very much a job. If the definition of a 'real job' is one you don't get to enjoy, I'm not very sure I want one. I'll go starving and happy over full and miserable any day.

  6. haha! Love it! Oh my gosh, my partner still asks me on occasion if I'm doing real work or whether I'm writing. I work freelance, so his definition of the immediate paid jobs is the 'real work'. Lol I want to punch him in the nose very time! haha

  7. I'll punch the lady on the bus in the nose! Big GRRRRR!

    I feel your pain.

  8. So great. And well said, and I, too, will be in awe if I become one of those check receivers. Yay for lying on paper as a profession. (or acting...acting sounds better) :)