Recently I went to another author’s book signing. When my eldest asked where I was going that evening and I told her, her face folded into a look of contemplation.
I said to her, “Honey, I’m not the only author around here, you know? There are a lot of us.”
She laughed and said, “I know that, but nobody else at school has a dad who writes books.”
I could only assent to this, knowing the families at the small school she attends.
She then said, “It’s just…” I swear I watched her pick the word out of her brain. “It’s…unique.” And she smiled a much broader grin, proud of her accuracy with word selection.
My smile matched hers, because it was nice for me to know the degree to which she understands the world, as well as because of the bit of perspective she provided.
Being an author is unique, in spite of the fact that there are millions of us. Each book is its own slice of life, a story within a story. I can remember so much about what occurred within my personal life via frames of reference to what I was writing.
I also get to create and express myself in ways that most people do not. There is an amazing liberation in this, one that I fully believe most people would find addicting. So often, if we are wise, we censor ourselves, because it’s the right move for a myriad reasons. However, the walls of decorum come down when it’s a character, not me, who gets to speak.
And, I know many people find it nerdy, but writing is damn cool. I am successful in an activity that I love, get to meet all sorts of amazing people, and have opportunities to enjoy the unknown, the whatever’s next. That is not always the case for people, personally, professionally or both. I am lucky.
So yes, it is a unique job, and yes, I’m sure my daughter didn’t imply a fraction of what I just wrote about. Or maybe she did. Because she’s living this life, right next to me. And this uniqueness is contagious.
*For Fun* Here’s a list of 10 “Unusual Jobs”. I’d be willing to clean a crime scene, and think being a Whisky Ambassador has to be phenomenal.