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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Would Writers Do If They Didn’t Write?


If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

“Dead.”

“Depressed.”

“Lost.”

Those might be some of the responses if you queried writers on what they would do with themselves if they couldn’t write for a living.  But what careers would they contemplate if they didn’t write?

Well, if they are really writers, then that’s what they’d be.  Even the many who work a day job and write on the side see themselves first as writers.  It’s part of our mindset and approach to life.  Being a writer is like saying you are Black or Jewish or a man.  It’s who you are and it defines you.  Even for people who say they aren’t just a race, religion, or sexual orientation – that they are much more – the truth is we get defined by others this way.  Further, we self-identify with significant things such as age, skin color and other demographics.

So maybe a better question is this:  If you can’t write full-time as a writer, what would you do?

Many already answer this question.  Bloggers, authors, and freellance writers already do other things to pay their bills. Parade issued its annual “What People Earn” survey and it showed plenty of people who earn low, such as corrections officer in Ocala, FL ($36,900) or a karaoke D.J.host in Greenville, SC ($25,000), and plenty of people making great bank, including a female mixed martial artist fighter ($6.5 million), an actor ($28.5 million) and a singer/songwriter ($80 million). 

The survey said these are some of the fastest-growing jobs (with their median salary):

Statisticians (79,900)
Physical therapist assistants (54,410)
Paramedics (31,700)
Home health aides (21,380)
Wind turbine service technicians (48,800)
Personal financial advisers (81,060)
App Software Developers (95,510)

Salaries range all over the place, based on industry, position, location, years of experience, etc.  The Screen Actors Guild says the average salary of an actor is $52,000 and that some struggling actors may earn as low as a grand.

Meanwhile, you have someone who risks his life – and the lives of 30 people that he supervises – and gets paid nothing: the volunteer fire chief in Palmyra, Missouri.

Writers have some real skills:

·         Writing
·         Editing
·         Researching
·         Analyzing and observing
·         Generating Ideas
·         Making people think, laugh, question, cry or take action

They serve such an important function at numerous levels.  Writers help communicate, clearly and efficiently, the ideas, facts, or information one would need to learn, from a product manual to textbooks to health advice.  They can be authors of books that enlighten, inspire, entertain or inform.  They can write promotional content – both to help promote good or bad products, people, or positions.  They can write for the news media or be a check on it.  Writers draft legal documents, legislation, and important materials.  In short, writing is an art that demands a certain talent and level of responsibility and discipline. So how much is that worth?

Writers rarely get paid what they believe they are worth.  Those that get big bucks are looked upon with scorn (sell outs!) or jealousy (I’m a better writer than so and so).  So what would you be if you weren’t a writer?

I would be lost – and so would those who liked to read my stuff.  Or so I would like to think.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

3 comments:

  1. I would find other ways to be creative. Knitting, crochet, cruel, painting - anything to keep from turning into a vegetable and dying.

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  2. I'd have to tell stories so I'd still follow that road and speak, illustrate maybe even act my stories! My initial reaction reaction to the question was that I'd read but if there were no writers then there would be nothing to read. What an awful thought! :-)

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