Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What We Do for Work

Back when I had my whippersnapper five years ago, I knew I was going to have to go back to work when he was three months old. This crushed my spirit in many ways, and I really enjoyed every second of my maternity leave. I remember really envying --like I was green--the moms I met who got to stay home with their babies. Especially those for whom it was a choice. Such is the life in a two parent working family.

But now, things have changed. I work from home as a freelance writer and designer. It's everything I ever wanted and I just love it. And it lets me stay home with Rainbow Puppy, which is huge. Even better, it really defines who I am much better.

One of the things I learned along the way in writing fiction is that your character's profession says a lot about them. If your character is a mortician, that might say something about him or her -- or might, in a nice twist, not. I find I love knowing what people do. The funny thing is I no longer envy the "Oh I don't work" line from other moms because I get to stay home too (even though I work). I kind of get the best of both worlds. Some people may think asking what they do for work is a superficial thing, a question with the underlying intention of determining how much money someone has. But we know there's much more to that.

Knowing that a profession matters for your character, I find that if my character doesn't have a job, that's a problem. I'm not talking about unemployed because times are hard or because he or she is independently wealthy-- I mean no job. It's almost like not having a face.

What kind of importance do you attach to your character's jobs? And what do you do for work? I really want to know.

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