Recently I read a mainstream media article related to (in part) the writing life.
It was about “careers for people who don’t like people.”
Hmm, that seems harsh, doesn’t it? I mean, do people like this really exist? To be sure, there are people who prefer working independently, or who like to be alone most of the time, or who prefer spending time with one trusted individual instead of hanging out with a horde of people.
These, however, are not “people-dislikers.” They like people enough. They just don’t need to be around them 24/7.
When I saw the description, I knew immediately that a writing career had to be on the list.
I mean, isn’t that how the world sees us? Solitary figures hunched over our keyboards in dimly lit rooms, huge “Do Not Disturb” and “Keep Out!” signs plastered on locked doors?
Sure enough, one of the six careers mentioned in the article was Technical Writer.
“Ha!” I thought. “There is NO way a technical writer would survive in this field if she or he disliked people!”
A technical writer has to communicate well with people from a variety of backgrounds, including managers, technical experts, graphic designers, marketers and salespeople. No, not constantly, but it is an integral part of the job. If a technical writer truly “doesn’t like people,” it’ll be hard for her to enjoy her job.
No, I’m not dense. I get what the author of this article is saying, namely, that certain jobs suit introverts better than extroverts. I just don’t like the words she chose to deliver her message. I don’t like perpetuating myths and stereotypes about writers (or anyone, for that matter).
Writers are not people-haters, folks. We love people! They fascinate us. We love our loved ones. We enjoy the company of others. We enjoy meeting people and making lasting friendships. We value our professional relationships.
Come on, world, get it right.
And the irony in all this? A writer wrote the article.
Surely shoe doesn’t dislike people, or does she?
Keep on writing,
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