Sometimes we can feel a little sorry for ourselves, bemoaning the difficult life of being a romance author. We’re stuck in our writing caves for hours on end, hunched over our laptops, suffering from back aches and carpal tunnel syndrome as we tap out words of literary genius on equipment not ergonomically correct for our bodies.
Once we emerge and reconnect with the world around us, we:
-wish we could find cover art that perfectly matches the image of the hero and heroine in our head without violating any copyright issues.
-are brow beaten by “professionals” who accuse us of pushing emotional porn on our readers, causing them to become addicted to our words and dissatisfied in their own relationships.
-complain about poor reviews for our books.
-lament the fact that our families don’t take our writing seriously and only see it as a hobby.
-can’t understand why more readers won’t buy our books when everyone we know says our writing is really, really good.
Well, I’m here to tell you, we don't have it nearly as bad as we think we do. I did a little research, and there are tons of jobs worse than being a romance author. You know the saying, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet”? If you do, then stop feeling sorry for yourself, because at least you’re not like these poor, footless souls.
Animal semen collector. I’m not even going to explain this one because it’s self-explanatory. Let’s just say that if you google the term, you’ll find a wealth of information, including videos.
Condom tester. It’s a pleasurable way to make some extra money. Be sure you’re in a committed relationship, just in case the condoms don’t work. Lifestyles Condoms is hiring here.
Pet food tester. I’d rather stick to human food.
Forest fire lookout. There’s an association for these noble warriors, and its website lists job opportunities (in case you’re interested). Jobs seem to be seasonal, but all you have to do is stay at the lookout tower and report to the proper authorities if you see a fire. Then run like hell.
Gross stunt tester. You know how on reality shows people have to swim through leeches, eat bugs, or drink a rat milkshake to win $50k? Guess what? There’s someone who has to test these activities before the contestants do them. Someone has to make sure it’s safe. Glad it’s not me.
Lift pump remover. I couldn’t adequately summarize the duties of this job, so I lifted a quote from the October 17, 2007 issue of Forbes magazine which describes what must be done:
“Each time a toilet is flushed, the waste goes to the treatment plant to be processed. The first place it enters is the plant's lift pump chamber, which is about five stories high. If the pump breaks, that five-story chamber fills with human waste. When that occurs, a person wearing a protective full-body suit and a breathing mask enters the chamber and swims through tons of human waste to tie a cable to the top of the pump so it can be lifted and everything filtered out. Human waste becomes poisonous at certain levels, so several alarms are attached to their body to alert the person when the air becomes too noxious.”
Pardon me while I go throw up. Please, continue reading.
Speaking of throwing up, how would you like to be a vomit collector? On an episode of Dirty Jobs, Mike collected owl vomit, which was sold to school children for research projects. Anything for the kids.
Manure inspector. In this fascinating profession, you not only have to smell the manure, you have to inspect it for contaminants.
Patheocologist. Sounds fancy-schmancy, which I’m sure it is, if you like studying prehistoric doo-doo. A patheocologist is someone who analyzes feces from the past so we can better understand how people lived. Honestly, I had no idea number 2 lasted that long. Did you?
Road kill remover. Next time you run over a squirrel or see a dead dog on the highway, say a quick thank-you to the person who has to come by and clean it up so you don’t see it the next time you drive by.
Snake milker. Sure they could die, but think of all the lives they save from the venom they collect which is used to treat blood clots, heart attacks, and create antivenom.
Well, that's my list. Don't you feel better about being a writer? Share this information with other romance authors you know. Tell them it’s not that bad. It could be worse. A lot worse.
Can you think of any other jobs worse than being a romance author?