Because of the responses I received to my last post, I figured I would quickly jot down some of my actual back-up plans for life if being a professional writer doesn’t exactly pan out the way I’d like. Here they are for you to peruse:
- Move to Switzerland and attend culinary school.
- Become a government translator (already done this once).
- Become a tour guide (catering to the gringos).
- Own a Bed & Breakfast.
- Own a used book store.
- Own a coffee/tea shop.
- Any combination of the previous three.
- Start a breakfast themed restaurant.
- Marry a wealthy doctor (I could do this while being a writer, too).
- Become a TV actress.
- Become a flight attendant.
- Become a movie director/producer.
- Time travel with the Doctor.
- Work with political and wartime refugees.
- Work for Love 146 or a similar organization
- Create artisan jewelry.
- Live on a farmette where I can grow my own vegetables and raise chickens.
- Live in a sister/friend’s basement, unemployed and underfed, but happy.
As you can see, I’ve put a lot of thought into the topic of “what to do if writing fails.” Each of these possible futures is something that I’ve thought of in the past and seriously considered as a secondary, alternative life if push comes to shove. It’s a risky business today, writing. We hear about the decline in print media with the advent of technology all the time, and with our culture pushing us further toward an existence that does not require deep thought, serious writers face a daunting and harrowing future. Every day, we’re warned, the written word might die. When I look around, I see early stages of Fahrenheit 451 eeking their way into our society. Writing is a dangerous gamble, but it’s one that I’m willing to make. Just in case, though, it is nice to have some back-ups already brainstormed.
What career paths have you considered as “back-ups” or alternatives?