by Stephanie Faris
Writers spend hours seated in front of a computer, staring at the screen. We make up characters and move them through situations, putting as much detail into them as we can. Often we draw on our own life experiences when we’re creating characters and situations, even if we have to go all the way back to childhood.
For young writers just starting out, there’s no substitute for life experience. As they choose their jobs, here are a few occupations that can be more beneficial than others for later books.
I can’t count the number of adults I’ve heard say, “Everyone should wait tables once in their lives.” I totally agree. My work as a server helped strengthen my memory and taught me how to hustle. Plus, you meet so many different types of interesting people.
Bartenders make epic tips, but they also become somewhat of a personal counselor to their customers. They meet people who have just been dumped or are celebrating big life events, acting as witness to all of it. You’ll likely build enough of an “idea bank” to get through your entire career as a novelist.
I worked in an office for 21 years. Trust me, NOTHING makes you appreciate sitting at home writing all day like dealing with that. Also, the American workplace is filled with people who are 100-percent crazypants. You’ll get great ideas for villains! Plus, most of the contemporary characters we create work in offices.
This is best for someone who writes for kids, like me. I never was a camp counselor, but I can only imagine the stories you’d have, especially if you write for girls. I love the concept of girls at camp for the summer, even though I’m not very outdoorsy!
My dream when I was a teenager was to get a job at one of the clothing stores at the mall. That was a huge thing in the 80s. I finally got that job and YIKES. Hours of standing around doing absolutely nothing. Sheer boredom. But standing around doing nothing is perfect for coming up with book ideas.
Librarians are surrounded by books and readers. They learn exactly what true book lovers like to read. Plus, free books!
One of my biggest regrets is that I never worked in a bookstore. Once your book comes out, you’ll have so many questions about how to get bookstore managers to pay attention. If you work in a bookstore, you’ll learn the ins and outs of planning an event at a bookstore and making sure the employees recommend your book to customers.
It may not be too late. If you’re looking for a side job, one of the above might be the perfect way for you to get the inspiration you need. Otherwise, think of the jobs you’ve had over your life and find ways to work them into your stories.
When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.
In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!
In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?
Snag Piper Morgan Joins the Circus and Piper Morgan In Charge! at Amazon.
About the Author
Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.
Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.
You can find Stephanie online at:
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