Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Writing Boots

We're thinking about colleges here at our house. Which leads to talk of college majors. Which leads to talk of careers.

And here's my guilty secret: I love career counseling books. Whenever I'm feeling unsure about my own work as a writer, I break out a career book and try to find another line of work.

I used to do this quite seriously and passionately, determined to find something I could immediately channel my frustration into, but now, I do it with amusement and the same guilty pleasure that I feel trying on shoes I know I'll never buy. Yeah, those olive green oooh shiny patent leather wow those make my legs look good heels make my heart quicken, and they would work for that one dress, but really...I go barefoot most of the day. And yeah, reading about being a film editor or legal mediator is exciting, but really...just thinking about those careers is enough. I don't have to actually buy them, take them out of the store, and wear them every day to get a jolt out of it.

Not so with the writing boots. The more I read about them, talk about them, see them lined up on the floor, the more I want to stick my feet in them and tromp around.

If you want to do a little guilty career shopping, Do What You Are, based on Myers-Briggs personality type, is one of my favorite books. Guess what it says is one of the secrets to my type's success? The right shoes.

Ha! No, it actually says: "Developing realistic expectations." But that's the same thing, right?


  1. One of the things I like most about my day job is helping students choose their course schedules and majors. It's like planning one's life all over again, but with better knowledge than the first time round.

  2. This is another reason we get along, Sara. I LOVE career books. Here at the library, we have a whole careers section, so when I'm feeling disgruntled about something, I can plunk myself down in the middle of the aisle and dream for a while. My favorites are the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Careers for You series (Careers for Introverts & Other Solitary Types, Careers for Culture Lovers and Other Artsy Types, etc.). We have Do What You Are over there, I note. I'm going to have to go check it out.


R-E-S-P-E-C-T (or you will be deleted)

You can receive followup comments to this conversation by checking the "notify me" box below the comment window.