I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with a wide variety of writers, some more “conventionally lucrative” than their peers, others more “emotionally successful” than their counterparts. But what seems to hold true for all of us are our many “talents”.
I think writers are among a select few who have had the unique “opportunity” to have worked in a wide variety of fields, and when I say wide, I mean mind-bogglingly, monstrously mother “you know what” massive!
You name it, and we’ve done it – from newspaper rounds, waitressing, checkout chicks or dudes and drum roll, the one job ALL of us seem to use as a fall back option – dog walkers. What amazes me is that I even managed to find “viable” university degrees to stretch as thin a layer as I could on the possible opportunities out there. As an Indian, not studying was not an option, that is if I wanted to keep my head (often useless) firmly on my shoulders, but I still managed to juxtapose as many unrelated, often detrimental roles together into one.
So much so, that one of the first recruitment consultant experiences I had (you know the type, the ones that instil so much confidence in yourself to face the obstacles life and a first job is going to offer) told me that my resume looked like a dog’s breakfast. I must admit to taking offence to that one. Sure, maybe I am a Jack of all trades and a master of none but let’s not kid ourselves – my dog’s breakfast looks better than my CV.
So what? We’re obviously a very talented bunch of people … or hopeless unfortunates, it depends really on whether you’re a half glass full or empty type of optimist. When anyone raised their eyebrow condescendingly at me as their snickered questioningly as to why I was bothering to study/do what I was, I would retaliate with a “how many people do you know who would labour away their lives doing what they can’t stand just so they can spend a few moments a day doing what they love?”
I’m fine with the blank looks and stares until some smart-aleck goes Vincent Van Gogh on me, call me vain – but I like my ear. And for that matter, my many careers, because I’m actually grateful to anything or anyone that allows me to write. So here’s raising a drink to our many collective talents – whether we make it in the literary world or not, you know your dogs are thanking us everywhere.