I was reading a book last night. It was one of the many books I have about the craft of writing and I hadn't picked it up in awhile. When I started reading, I was surprised to find I had not even read it yet. So I hunkered down in my big bowl chair with the cat and was surprised even further: this book was about how to write non-fiction.
When did I buy a book about non-fiction? All I write is fiction. Non-fiction is my day job as a technical writer.
But for some odd reason I kept reading. I even read the introduction. It was then I realized this book was great advice for writers of all genres.
It's called "Thinking Like Your Editor". I found it useful to me in a way that other writing books about how to write fiction have not been: it focuses on the business side of writing.
Sure, I've read fiction advice books that give some aspect of the business side of writing. But none of them seem to be so applicable and have the edge that this one does. So I read on.
It seemed like every page was saying something like "When I worked as an editor for x number of years..." or "When I was an agent for x number of years..." It sounded like this person had worn every hat in the publishing business. She even talked about how she envies bookstore workers (the one thing she hasn't done) for getting to work so closely with the reading community.
I realized there are so many different ways to get involved in the publishing industry, and no one has to be limited to just one thing. Writers can become agents, agents can become writers, editors can become writers, etc.
And I finally felt like I was allowed to dare to think that perhaps someday I might be more than just a writer as well. I've always thought it would be awesome to be an agent. Or an editor. Or maybe even a bookstore owner. To me, all those jobs sound like they're the same thing: Get paid to read books. How could that not be awesome?
Just for fun, pretend you have your pick of any job in the publishing industry. What would you be? Do you ever dream of owning your own bookstore? Of being an agent? Of being an assistant to someone in the publishing business? Or is becoming a published writer enough of an ambition right now?