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Sunday, 6 July 2014

You Can’t Throw a Gavel Without Hitting a Lawyer-Turned-Author


Some of the jobs I’ve held include: short order cook, nanny, postmaster’s assistant, and “background talent” (read -  extra in movies and commercials). But of all the jobs I’ve tried, the one that I’m least likely to write about is the one that I spent the most time training for – my current profession of lawyer. 

Although it sometimes seems like you can’t throw a gavel without hitting a lawyer-turned-author, there are two main reasons you won’t catch me writing about my day job any time soon (though I’ll never say never):

1.  1.   My source material would be pretty boring - and that’s how I like it.

Some writers have no problem turning the day-to-day life of a lawyer into the stuff of thrillers, but I have a hard time associating the reality of my job with the kind of romance and adventure I enjoy reading about. Actually, scratch that – I actively avoid romance and adventure in my day job. It decreases the odds of getting sued.

Do I personally find my work exciting? Yes. Would the general public? Eh, maybe it depends on the day, but if I had to guess – no. The types of law I practice do not lend themselves to Grisham-esque scenarios. Nor is there anything particularly glamorous about wearing pantyhose for 10-12 hours per day.

2.   2.  Writing is my escape from the ordinary.

Everyone is familiar with the old advice to “write what you know”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write what you do. So far, I have written about ancient Greek legends coming to life, the colonization of a far-away planet, and the adventures of a high-class madam. As you may have guessed, I have first-hand experience with exactly none of these scenarios. 

            But I do have a lot of fun writing about them!

How about you? Are there any jobs you find duller than dirt? Any that you can’t, or won’t, write about?

(I assume all those romance-blog-enthusiast international spies out there are sworn to secrecy, but let’s hear from the rest of you!)


Find Nicola at her web site

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1 comment:

  1. I love your perspective on this, Nicole. I agree that the usual grist of a legal practice does not an exciting novel make. You hit the nail on the head about writing what you know, not what you do. I write legal thrillers, but as corporate/civil law was my area of practice, I rely on my research skills and subject matter experts to cover all the various angles in my books. Welcome aboard! :)

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