or, why I chose to tell a roomful of guys I wrote a romance novel.
First off, I didn’t actually tell a roomful of guys I wrote a romance novel. I told one guy after the fact. But I did tell them I wrote a NOVEL. And yes, there’s a reason for this after keeping this a secret from my work world for so long.
I’ve been writing since I was in middle school, so I’ve written my whole adult career, even though I’ve never had a job as a writer. And don’t think companies haven’t used my editing and writing expertise unofficially over the years. I’ve edited many a PowerPoint presentation and reviewed many a document over the years. In almost every position I’ve had to write an instruction manual (because Admin assistants just know things off the tops of their heads. We’re like magicians).
But never have I told people that I know how to write. That’s done. So, why did I do it?
There’s no such thing as job security.
After being downsized from several jobs, sometimes shortly after getting stellar performance ratings and raises, due to overhead cuts, corporate restructuring, and even COVID, I get that sometimes nothing I do can save my job. So if I am let go because I like to write about love, then I know it has nothing to do with my work ethic (because it takes a lot of work to publish a novel and have a full-time and a part-time job).
I should also say I don’t work at a religious institution which could have values that are against those that contemporary steamy romance portrays. But if I get Lucy Score-d – even though I don’t write at work – (listen to her interview on the Self-Publishing Formula podcast) becoming a big time author because of it is a pretty decent trade-off.
None of my target audience is here, but all of them are potentially married to or dating my target audience.
Pretty self-explanatory. In a room full of career guys with wives and kids, someone may need to get his wife a birthday present or Christmas or something.
I have a life outside of work.
I don’t drink at work functions, I don’t talk about my husband or kids (because I don’t have either), and I don’t talk sports, religion, or politics at work. Many times this renders blank stares, prodding and asking why, and side eyes that you can feel burning your face off. Especially when, as an admin, I’m not tied to an industry, which makes me slack-jawed when co-workers talk industry talk. This is a fun fact that I could reveal that would invite discussion.
I am accomplished outside of my job title.
My current job title is Administrative Assistant. And while being in various administrative support roles for over 20 years is an extreme accomplishment (and not an easy job – for any of the roles I’ve had), I have been wanting to show that I can do more than book your travel or order lunch for your meeting for years. Because I can. I have 2 degrees and a marketing certification.
We tend to silo and stereotype people based on job titles. You don’t have to have a degree to be an admin assistant, so many people think you aren’t smart. It’s not a technical position, so people think you’re unskilled, or anyone can do what you do. And while this isn’t true of me – or many of my counterparts – having even more accomplishments outside of my title show me in a different light. And hopefully give me more respect.
But mainly? I did it because writing a novel and publishing it is a big deal. And I did that. And I’m dang proud of it.