Working for a Living

In honor of tax day, I am posting about working.

These are some jobs I would like to have.  And get paid for.  Because I pretty much already do them, I just don’t get paid.

Writing Coach

You know how there are people who — with a straight face – say their job is “life coach” or “pet whisperer” or “ghost hunter.”  There’s a whole industry devoted to teaching companies how to innovate: essentially, how to think.

A writing coach would be no more ridiculous than any of these.

There are lots of people who want to write, not for money or fame, but just as a means of self-expression.  As adults, we shed the easy creativity of childhood.  We feel embarrassed to draw, to paint, to fiddle with blocks or Lego and we are glad that as parents or aunts and uncles, we have the “excuse” to sit on the floor and release that creative energy.  But it is always within us.  A writing coach could help unleash that and guide it. 

Visiting Teacher

I want to be a contract teacher.  I want to go into schools, elementary through high school, as a guest lecturer and speak about the subjects I am immersed in and passionate about.  Things like medieval history, poetry, Old English, writing and publishing, Shakespeare, and the law.  With my expertise, I can give the students a much broader, much richer experience with the material they are studying than their classroom teacher can. 

I have done this many times on a volunteer basis.  I have spoken to three separate classes about poetry, to two classes about writing and revising a novel and the publishing process, to two classes about Old English and its impact on our modern language (my favorite nugget:  why Wednesday is spelled as it is) and to one class on Beowulf (“waes se grimma gast Grendel haten…”).  I spent a half an hour last week talking with a middle school group about the legal process in connection with a novel they were reading. 

The teachers love it, the kids love it, and I love it.

There are so many parents who could offer similar expertise in math, science, social science, history, and the arts.  Our education system simply doesn’t take advantage of this well enough, even on a volunteer basis.  It absolutely should have a paid program such as I am describing.   

Color Namer

I want to name the colors for a paint manufacturer.  You know, “Purple Sky” and “Tile Roof” and “Ice Cream Melting In The Sun.”  Or the unbelievably inappropriate “Sexy Lingerie” my daughter discovered; how do we explain THAT one to our young girls who just want a pretty pink room?

The color of the trim in my house should be called “Dirty.”  Even when it’s clean. 

Any great made up jobs you’d love to have?

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8 Responses to Working for a Living

  1. Nancy Sima says:

    If such a job could exist, I would be first in line to be a cloud watcher. Just lay on a blanket, stare up at the sky and point out all the designs I see…. I could lead a class on the Great Lawn in Central Park 🙂 Do tell…why is Wednesday spelled as it is?

    • I love your idea for a job! Kids don’t spend nearly enough time cloud-gazing anymore.

      Wednesday: In Anglo-Saxon dialects, the Norse god Odin was called Woden. The possessive of a noun was formed by adding “es” to the end of the word: thus, “Wodenes” means “belonging to Woden”, or “Woden’s.” “Daeg” was the word for “day” (the soft “g” at the end of the word was pronounced like “yeh”). So, “Wodenesdaeg” was “Woden’s day.” What’s really interesting is that our pronunciation has changed but our spelling doesn’t.

  2. Julie Daines says:

    Hmmmm…. So many choices. I like what you said about teaching in the schools. I used to have that as a job–only instead of old english, I taught about reptiles. Live ones.

    Perhaps I’d choose something along the lines of tour director in Britain. Not for a group of photo happy tourists. But for people who really want to know something about about the history of the country and it’s rich heritage in literature.

    I’ve got it! I can be a docent at Wordsworth’s home in the Lake District. Or Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford. Or the Bronte parsonage in Haworth. Or…

  3. Sue R. says:

    I have always thought “Travel Writer” would be a sweet gig. Imagine seeing the world with the main intent of sharing your experience and opinion. Isn’t that what we would want to do anyway?
    When I brought up your topic to my daughter and discussed the other reader suggestions, she reminded me that she in fact did take a cloud watching class in summer camp, right after her unicorn hunting class. It seems archery was full. She fully enjoyed both classes.

  4. Mabel says:

    I want to be paid to be the Parent Who Pets Her Children’s Hair. Otherwise known as a PWPHCH. If I discover other lovable children, then maybe I could get a grant to become a PCPHCH PhD.

  5. Mabel’s comment made me think it would be great to be paid to pet and play with cats and dogs.

    Maryanne, reading your dream job descriptions made me think of the perfect job for you that will embody all these things (prepared to be shocked): An Author! (okay, not so shocking) School visits for your books can include #1 and 2, and you are the official color namer for your novels.

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