Here’s What People Don’t Get About Writing as a Job

A Twitter thread asking “what does the public misunderstand about your profession?” turns up a lot of writing wisdom

Louie Mantia has an incredibly cool job: among other things, he designs icons, like emoji and iMessage stickers and the little square images for apps on your phone. But it’s also a job most people haven’t really thought about, and that they must therefore have all kinds of cockamamie ideas about. Which is probably what inspired him to ask on Twitter, “What‘s something that seems obvious within your profession, but the general public seems to misunderstand?”

The tweet has had hundreds of replies, as people in jobs from architect to zoologist rush to set the record straight. There were a few repeated refrains—teachers DO NOT get the summer off, y’all! News reporting is different from opinion columns!—and some inside info that was genuinely new to us. (Did you know anyone can become a real estate agent, but “realtor” is copyrighted and only refers to a member of the National Association of Realtors? We didn’t! Did you know all distilled spirits are gluten-free?) And there was also plenty of wisdom, conventional and otherwise, about writing (books, poetry, and online articles) as a job.

Here are some of our favorite industry secrets resulting from Mantia’s tweet. If you’ve got more, you can share them with @ElectricLit on Twitter—which, per another incredibly common contribution, is run by a seasoned professional and not an intern.

About the Author

More Like This

The Tech World Is So Embarrassing

"Uncanny Valley" highlights the way tech companies hide their evil under a thick protective layer of corniness

Feb 20 - Andru Okun

Fiction Prompts Culled from Weird Wikipedia Articles

If you're lost for ideas, spend some time with the world's foremost archive of fart performers, toddler eaters, and Go-playing ghosts

Nov 22 - McKayla Coyle

Electric Literature’s #DressLikeABook Contest is Back!

Show off your best literary-inspired outfit and you could win one of our Writing Well Is The Best Revenge tote bags

Sep 27 - Electric Literature