Wednesday, August 19, 2015

4 Reasons Why Writers Should Try Out Different Day Jobs

In 41 years, I have worked a lot of odd and average type jobs, from a concession stand starting at age 8 to an inner city hospital as a nursing assistant. Each job provided me with a wealth of knowledge and insight that has gone into my writing.

1. Provides You With New Perspectives


How can you write about a character if you've never walked a mile in her or his shoes? Taking on a job gives you the chance to explore different perspectives from all walks of life.

You don't have to go as far as law school to learn what it is like to be a lawyer. All you need to do is get an entry job working with or near lawyers, such as an entry job at a court house. The best gossip comes from the average worker, not the higher ups.

2. Gives You New Characters to Add to Your Novels


The world is full of interesting characters and everyone has at least one thing about her or him that can be used to build up a character in your book.

Study the people you work with. Listen to their stories. Watch them and make notes about their habits, their favorite sayings, and how they act in different situations.

3. Teaches You New Skills


Every job has something new to teach you.

When I worked as a receptionist for an accountant, I learned how to treat people who thought they were terribly important. I learned to play to their huge egos and how to get the hours I wanted and days off with just the right amount of flattery. I also got a good look at how accountants behaved with each other. It was great insight that I was able to use in one of my stories.

4. Provides You With Creative Ideas for New Book Series


Have you ever wondered why there are so many book and television series set in hospitals? Go work in one, as I have, and you will quickly learn that the hospital is the one place where you will meet every type of personality under the sun.

You can create a book series for any type of occupation or occupational setting, from office worker to botanist. Getting a job outside the home helps writers explore the different settings and characters available to them. It gets the creative juices flowing and broadens our insight into the working world.

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