Friday, April 14, 2006

Underpaid professions I'd like to try if I ever finish the damn dissertation

In no particular order:

1. Children's book illustrator
Little known fact about me: I really, really, really like to draw, paint, and experiment with new media. And I'm really into the cool illustrations in many of Lucas's books.

2. Historical museum curator or exhibits consultant

3. Publisher of a weekly community newspaper
with Mr. Trillwing--we met at once such newspaper, and I'd love to see Mr. Trillwing, brilliant newspaperman that he is, direct a small, bustling office of newspaper folks. Alternative medium: monthly or bimonthly magazine.

3. Cartoonist
I was a cartoonist for a year in college, and I really enjoyed it. Plus, to my great surprise, I received tons of good feedback from diverse quarters. Perhaps post-dissertation I'll post some doodles here.

4. Public historian
Of course, this is related to #2. I'd like to find creative, fun, innovative ways to bring history, and especially local and regional history, to the lay public. The fact that I'm not technically a historian? I don't see that as a problem. ;)

5. Portrait photographer
of the eccentric, not elementary school, variety. The big problem: I know nothing about cameras. But I'm absolutely tickled when I capture offbeat pictures of people and pets. My next goal: taking a decent self-portrait.

6. Freelance features writer or columnist
with a modest but extremely loyal cult following, in high-profile magazines.

7. Novelist
Does everyone want this on some level?

What about you? If you were to throw in the towel on your current career, what careers--underpaid or well remunerated--would you choose to pursue?


What Now? said...

I have the same career fantasy of bringing scholarly subjects alive to "the people," so I've had the public historian idea that you've had, plus I like the idea of being a documentary filmmaker. The fact that I have no idea how to use a camera has never stood in the way of this latter fantasy.

I also have a strange fantasy career of going to work for an Episcopal diocese and getting their vocations/ordination program in order. I have many, many ideas on the subject, and I'm pretty organized, and I'm smart, and I'm sure I could do a much better job than most of the folks who are paid to do this job. However, I'm not very patient at working with folks whom I don't think of as smart (which I think of as a real character weakness on my part), so I think I shouldn't pursue this project.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I started this comment ages ago, and then my husband and inlaws suddenly came back from shopping and I had an attack of conscience, because I stayed home to do homework and still hadn't done any.

Fantasy careers:

1. Jazz singer. I didn't say "realistic career options." That would use my education well, right? I did a lot of vocal jazz in high school, and I'm a different person when I have a microphone in my hand.

2. Novelist, of course.

3. Photographer/writer of travel books. Some day, I'm going to write a book analysing German monuments, and it's going to include my own photos. Secretly, it'll be my travel book.

4. Oddly enough, I've been dreaming lately about organising things with my home province's regional colleges, so that I could teach in a small town regional college. Right now, they're mostly having to do history by distance, because no prof seems to want to live out in a podunk town. I can be that prof, if it means finding my husband a cool teaching job in one of those small towns that's always trying to hire him, and buying a great big house for cheap.

Mon said...

Just the other day I was thinking that I'd like to write children's books but I dismissed the idea because I didn't know anyone interested in illustrating--we should hook up if this PhD thing doesn't work out!!

I wonder what else I'd like to do--perhaps be a wedding photographer or a songwriter??

Jeff Mather said...

(1) International playboy, obviously.

(2) Fine-art photographer. Perhaps I would even finish up my Commonwealth project.

(3) CIA analyst.