Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Writer's Many Hats

Since tax season is almost here, I was gathering all of my receipts and documentation together, yesterday, and taking a look at last year’s statement, the one that shows I was gainfully employed at a day job. Actually, I was employed for most of 2010, too; but this year, I’m a full-time, self-employed writer: a first for me in thirty years of writing.

I’m glad there’s no line on the electronic form asking for my occupation, because frankly, “writer” doesn’t seem to cut it. I mean, no professional writer simply writes. I started thinking about all the things I’ve done to help my career, and the more I thought about it, the longer the list grew. Here’s all the things I’ve done, as a professional writer, to either get in print, build my reputation, or sell books. See if your list is similar! In no particular order, they are:

Student (I’ve lost count of the number of workshops I’ve attended)

Presenter (workshops and readings/talks)

Course facilitator

Conference panelist and volunteer

Blogger Reader and reviewer


Press release writer

Poster maker

Display organizer

Website designer

Promoter (in print and especially on the net through social networking)


Mentor to new writers

I've likely forgotten some things, and there are more things I hope to do, but to adequately describe what writers really do, we need to come up with a better word . . . and I’d prefer not to use the phrase underpaid, multi-tasker, or nut case.

Speaking of multi-tasking, I and Kay Stewart, will be launching our debut mysteries, The Opposite of Dark and Sitting Lady Sutra at The Fort Cafe, 742 Fort Street, Victoria on April 12th at 7 p.m. We are delighted to be joined by our friend and terrific writer, Lou Allin who will also be reading from her latest book. If you live in the area, I hope you’ll join us! We will be doing the same in Vancouver on April 27th. I’ll post details in a few days.


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