- Possess excellent communication skills and be able to address delicate subjects, such as
- Internal and external conflict
- Writing engaging dialogue that reveals character and moves the story forward
- Show and not tell at the right time
- Tell and not show as needed
- Have strong organizational skills and be a magical problem solver
- Keep the facts straight, ages, times of day, places, etc.
- Will be required to create scenes out of thin air
- Name the characters right… i.e, Gladys, could never have pulled off Scarlett
- Be willing to change the tense and point of view after typing THE END
- Be willing to work variable hours
- Including the middle of the day, before coffee but not recommend, and even at 3 AM
- Evenings and weekends
- During dinner parties (might include running to the facilities to make a note on a phone app, back of hand, or paper found in bathroom)
- Day dream when it hits, including mid conversation with your significant other or the police officer writing you a ticket for talking to yourself in a public setting
- Be on stand by if the muse visits, an idea settles in, or you wake up with a story pulsing through your veins
- Write – DAILY (this may include work on WIP’s, Dear Diary, Memoir entries, Morning Pages, raw writing, love letters, or notes on the back of napkins)
- Be OK with frequent long shifts
- Write in early morning and into the wee hours
- Write when you’d rather sleep
- Write when you’d rather watch reruns of Dancing with the Stars
- Write when you’d rather meet your lover (OK, exceptions are allowed, lovers should come first, same applies to children, the small ones, over 13’s can be taught to respect a crazed writer in the thralls of a creative frenzy)
Minimum Job Requirements
- Accept it’s a lifetime commitment
- Respond to the voices in your head in a timely manner
- Capable of industrial strength clean up during editing phases – Must be fearless with the DELETE key
- There is no get out of jail free card (once you don the writer persona you are labeled forever more, if you have plastic surgery, change your name or try to enter the Witness Protection Program, your voices and your muse will follow you, even to Timbuktu)
- Xena and Hulk like body and emotional armor REQUIRED to withstand rejection after rejection
- Have unlimited faith in yourself (you’ll need it)
- Ability to take constructive criticism without reverting to a fetal position
- Same Xena/Hulk like strength REQUIRED to push past the criticism and self-doubt and shoulder onward
- Comfortable being alone for extended periods of time
- Strong support network
- Be able to write frugally but deeply, honestly, and passionately
- Be prepared to fall instantly in love/hate and accept it will be this way until your draw your last breath
- Must assume accountability for the quality of the final output
- Must have a surplus of medical supplies, chocolate chip cookies, and wine
- Commitment to continuously feed the creative beast – entails long walks, day dreaming, leafing through the magazines, reading the National Enquirer, reading books (all kinds), going to museums, listening to music, making lists, taking pictures, breathing, allowing life to follow freely through you
Perks (there are none, but if you are still reading, then you’re mad as a hatter and deserve to know the rest)
- There is no advancement – NONE AT ALL. Fame and fortune are not the end game. Writing is a calling and not a choice. Even the famous and very rich writers accept this about the job.
- None is required except a burning desire to weave a tale, confess a secret, and live forever on the page (even if that page is a diary you leave behind for your children). A pinch of madness and determination goes a hell of a long way.
- Unless you have a job outside the home there is no compensation unless you pen the next big thing. Think outside of Bella and Edward, or sex in chains. Dance with the wind.
- Other than sparse to non-existent opportunities for personal growth there isn’t any. If however, you are fearless and don’t care about benefits, you might find a passion that will weather all the seasons of your life.
- Extreme quirkiness
- Willingness to take risks and try new ideas
- Having a whimsical attitude is a huge plus, as well as the ability to laugh when tears are more appropriate.
- Deeply passionate
- Be exceptionally forgiving
- Gritty resolve