Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jack of All Trades - Master of Some

Strolling through the blogosphere this morning, I noticed a bit of a trend.  Several authors were mentioning the jobs they used to have before they made the leap to writing.  Add to that the arrival of my yearly Social Security thing-a-ma-bob (if I die today, my daughter gets some walking around money - whoopee for her), and I got to thinking...

I started working for real in the early '80s.  Like most girls my age, I took my first step into the workaday world by babysitting...  Pause.  Scratch that.  I remember now...  I earned my first income picking garbage out of the neighbor's field for a dollar an hour.  (Or was that a dollar a bag?  I forget.  I mean it's been like thirty years.)  Around the same time, I got paid to do some data entry work in my mother's office.  Oh, and I made a little scratch sticking labels on electronics literature for Dad's company.

I've held so many paying jobs over the years, it's a wonder I can keep any of them straight.  By the time I was thirty, I'd held thirty jobs*.  (I know. I did the math - and even then, I know I forgot about the garbage detail and the label application.)  Of course, in college I held a couple jobs at the same time.  PBS in the morning and telemarketing at night with class time in between.  Yay.

Even now, when writing is my day job, I still have a second job - because it's the only one making moolah - and that's running my online bookstore. 

Anyway, over the years I've held a lot of jobs in a lot of different fields--sales, clerical, management, farm/agriculture, manufacturing, technology, training...  Jack of all trades, master of some of each.  Heh, I guess I do know Jack.  ;o)

What's this got to do with writing?  Well, I guess I'd say it's got a lot to do with writing because: every single experience we have contributes to our knowledge base.  Write what you know... and the more you know, the more you have to write about.  Right? 

If I ever need to write about telemarketing, mucking stalls, computer training/consulting, sticking little widgets on the ends of alligator clips, picking jalapeno peppers, assisting the president of a company, sales training, dog washing, selling capacitors, handling irate customers...  Well, I'll be ready to do it.  Not that you have to work your way through every job in the Occupational Outlook Handbook to be a better writer, but I'm trying to put a positive spin on a negative looking resume.

And if nothing else, I'll always have something to fall back on, if this writing thing doesn't work out.  And I can still do better than to work for the stinking cow place.

What about you?  Do you find your experiences helping your writing or are you making it all up from scratch?  What's the weirdest job you ever held? 

*Doing a count just now, I'm at 37 different jobs over my 26 years in the workforce.  Ack.

No comments:

Post a Comment