J: In an earlier post I mentioned how my father seemed to know something about everything. He could fix things, mechanical and building wise, and he could even cook. I admired him greatly and believe he was part of a disappearing breed.
But as writers, there's also a growing need to become a jack-of-all-trades in the writing business as my father was in his business.
First and foremost, we must be story tellers. If there's not a good story, none of the rest matters. If you write non-fiction, then there must be expert-backed facts written in an appealing voice. At one time, this first part could be almost enough to make you a success. But with the competition in today's market, a writer must be so much more.
Even the most clever and witty story teller must able to self-edit. The basics of grammar and spelling must be followed if a writer wants anyone to look at their work. At one time, an agent or an editor might work with a great spinner of tales to improve that part of their work. It's not likely to happen now. A few mistakes on the first page of manuscript and an agent or editor won't even look at the second page. A writer must be an editor and a good one at that. A writer needs others of their ilk to read their prose before they try to get it published and must be willing to return the favor.
If a writer is fortunate and hard-working enough to be published, more jobs are piled onto their load. Now they must be a promoter, a publicist, and sometimes it feels like a beggar also. It has become the writer's job to bring attention to their book. Sometimes it seems like more hours are spend on this chore than on actual writing.
Public speaker, appearing at conferences, participating in online opportunities, are all part of promoting your writing, but it is also a satisfies another expectation of the writing business. Passing on what you learned and being a mentor for those finding their own way through this ever-changing world of writing.
Lastly, a writer must also possess some business sense. From keeping track of income, expenditures and writing off the kitchen table as your office space on your taxes, just kidding, a writer has to realize they are involved in a business, not just a hobby.
What job of a writer did I miss? Do you feel confident about your writing to call yourself a jack-of-all trades?