Normally this post would be about some obscure part of the writing process, but not today! Today I’m going to talk about what one does when not writing.
As an aspiring writer, I realize that I most likely won’t be able to make a living off my books for a few years at least. And that means I’m probably going to have to work. Like, for real. As in, not at my computer while wearing sweatpants EVERY DAY BECAUSE I CAN.
So the question is: what’s my Plan B? What profession will I choose to work at while I wait for the Almighty Publishing Companies to grace me with their letters of acceptance and their royalty checks?
Readers, for years I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I love working with kids, and I love both English and world history, so I thought I would get a degree to teach one of those things and then work on my writing. I imagined the satisfaction of passing my knowledge of the Sumerians or Walt Whitman on to hordes of students that would be eternally grateful for the gift of education.
And then, a few months ago, I realized what teaching would actually entail. I would never be done with the work. Even when I got home in the evening, there would be papers to grade. I’m not sure I can handle that. And, also, I’m beginning to understand that I’m not the best at tutoring people, much less trying to teach them something entirely new.
So I began my search for a new Plan B. After some thought, it hit me like a bolt of lightening from proverbial literary heaven:
Just think about it. I’ve always loved libraries; how could a book nerd such as me not? And becoming a librarian would allow me to be around books FOR A LIVING. Do you understand this, readers? It’s like getting PAID TO READ. Almost. But there’s more Dewey decimals involved.
I would still be able to be around people and help them to learn new things, only instead of me telling them outright (most of the time, at any rate), I would be able to guide them to the books where they could discover the knowledge for themselves. I would be able to see new readers fall in love with books before my very eyes. Public or school library, it doesn’t matter.
It just sounds really awesome.
Oh, did I also mention librarians get to go to awesome stuff like this?!?! Where they GIVE YOU ADVANCED COPIES FOR FREE?! And you also get to talk to authors and meet other librarians/publishers/related folks.
Like the video says: SECRET SUPERHEROES OF AMERICA.
These conferences and expos sound like something a book nerd should be attending. And by “a book nerd,” I mean me.
Not that I want to become a librarian just for the ARCs. But it’s a cool bonus.
Now, I’m not saying every aspiring writer should have this exact Plan B; this is simply mine. What I’m saying is that every aspiring writer should at least have an idea of what they want for their Plan B. Writing is a tricky business, from what I understand, and it’s not guaranteed that you’re going to make oodles and oodles of cash right from the start. That’s why it’s important to have something to fall back on in the meantime. It might as well be something you know you’ll love and you know you could do for a career if you weren’t a writer.
I’ll get off my soap box now. This has just been something that’s on my mind lately, especially since high school seems to be fifty percent HOW WILL I PASS MY FINAL and the other fifty percent is WHAT COLLEGE AM I GOING TO AND WHAT WILL I MAJOR IN?!?!
I’m still fairly far away from the “real world,” for a teen at any rate, but at least now I have an idea of what I’ll do once I get there.
But I’m keeping in mind that this is still Plan B. Plan A is writing. And, as we all know, A comes first in the alphabet.
The one I use, at any rate.