I finally got around to cleaning up all the stuff I collected at the RT convention last month. I know it’s been a while, but I was on a writing deadline so it sat in a heap in the corner until I had time. It’s amazing all the swag one collects at these things. There’s pens and pencils, post-it notes, key chains, card decks, and all kinds of postcards, bookplates, and little booklets. Plus bags. Lots and lots of bags. For some reason, though, authors seem to also collect a lot of hats.
I don’t know why this is. I look terrible in hats, and they always give me hat hair. They probably give us hats to make us easy to spot in a room, but it got me thinking about other reasons. Authors do tend to put on different hats as they’re writing characters. We have to learn about occupations from cowboys to policemen to soldiers. I don’t think any of my characters so far would wear the hats in the picture, though…
These days authors have to wear different hats for their own job, too. Not only do we have to hone our writing craft, we now also have to become skilled marketers, public speakers, web site developers, and even publishers. Whether you’re writing with a large publishing house or doing the indie pubbed thing, authors are expected to do more than ever before. It can be exciting to wear the different hats and assume more control over one’s career. It can also be overwhelming.
So yeah, the more that I think about it, the more appropriate the hats are. But I haven’t received the one that most aptly portrays the writing field yet — a hardhat.