I was out the other night with some new friends and when they learned I’m a novelist, they were immediately enamored—not with me, but with my profession. And as they went down the list of how glamorous my life must be, I was nodding and smiling and having my own internal conversation:
Them: “You must be famous!”
Me: And yet, you’ve never heard of me…
Them: “You work from home? You’re so lucky!”
Me: I live and work in the same space, so I work all the time. Oh, and my neighbors treat me like a concierge.
Them: “You have no overhead!”
Me: And no paid vacation, health insurance, or sick time.
Them: “Your schedule is flexible! That must be awesome!”
Me: People confuse a flexible schedule with NO schedule. I spend most of my time fending off people who want me to drop everything and go to lunch or a matinee.
Them: “You must travel all over the world for book signings!”
Them: “You must have an amazing work wardrobe!”
Me: Black yoga pants and brown yoga pants.
Them: “You must get to meet so many exciting people!”
Me: The FedEx guy, the UPS gal, and all the Pizza Hut delivery drivers.
Them: “Wow, you just get up every morning and write down whatever comes into your head?”
Me: I get up every morning and pray that something comes into my head that’s worth writing down.
Them: “You write mystery and romance novels? I bet your sex life is amazing.”
Me: Yes. I’m also a body mover, a private detective, and a voodoo high priestess.
Them: “You can work on your laptop anywhere—on the couch, or even in bed!”
Me: On the train, on a plane… in the bathtub during a hurricane.
Them: “It must be amazing to be your own boss!”
Me: And the cook, and the janitor…
Them: “When are they going to make one of your books into a movie?”
Me: As soon as I ask…Hollywood is accommodating that way.
Actually, it’s kind of fun that people think my job is glamorous…it takes me back to what I thought my life would be like someday when I sat down to write my first manuscript. For a few minutes, I can revisit that fantasy of lounging around all day in a peignoir and writing brilliant scenes when the muse strikes me…until, like the other evening, I have to burst everyone’s bubble and beg off early because I need to go home and finish writing a chapter before I turn in.
Them: “You have to work on a weekend night?”
Me: Glamorous, huh?
Q: Do YOU have a job that people misunderstand?