I’ve thought a lot about the sort of fictional career I’d be best at.

10 fictional careers I'd be great at

Sure, I’ve written quite a bit about the worst job I ever had, and about the freedom my current job affords me. But all those musings pale in comparison to what I have to say about each fictional career that I’d like to have. I’ve thought about it so much that I’ve come up with a list of 10 fictional careers that I’d be great at.

Fictional Career 1: Ghost That Haunts an Abandoned Asylum

If I were born 200 years earlier, it’s safe to say that I would’ve been placed in some sort of asylum where spirited and strong-willed women were sent to have all manner of terrible and not medically sound treatments. (I say this because I am 400% loudly cuckoo banana pants like 73% of the time.) It’s likely that I would die there, because medical and mental health care was kind of the absolute worst in 1816.

And as I haunted this establishment, people would hear my mayhem echo through the white-tiled walls. I would make fart noises so everyone would think the head doctor had gas, and I would say really off-putting things to the staff there, like “The wheelbarrow is full of razor blades” and “The monkeys know all about you and Nancy!”

Admittedly, I would just be weird.

Fictional Career 2: Jilted Spinster Who Runs a Second-Rate Finishing School

We’ve all got a bit of Miss Havisham in us, but unlike that crazy old bat, I wouldn’t sit around in a stanky old wedding dress while a cake rots in the corner. I’d definitely be more proactive about my lot in life. I mean, sure. I’d be super sad and pretty much an emotional mess, but I’d at least have the financial presence of mind to open up a second-rate finishing school for the poorer members of the middle class, and I’d do a pretty half-ass job of things.

The majority of my girls would be married off to suitors, but I’d make sure they would never have the chance to be truly happy in their matches, lest someone else experience joy when I cannot.

Fictional Career 3: Ambassador to Another Planet

As soon as this opportunity becomes available to us, I’m going to ship out. I’m no politician, but I could totally be an ambassador. I want to live in a fancy home on another planet, and educate the inhabitants on the ways of Earth, as well as have them educate me on their matters. I would gladly represent Earth in all meetings, formal dinners, balls, and sporting events held on this planet.

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I would also like to give some Earth junk food to the small children I meet. I hope the residents of Alpha Megatrax 5 don’t mind their kids eating Doritos.

I hope the residents of Alpha Megatrax 5 don't mind their kids eating Doritos. Click To Tweet

Fictional Career 4: Paranormal Private Eye

Anyone can solve a case of infidelity by trailing the husband and taking pictures of his indiscretions, but it takes a special kind of person to track down the ghost of a little boy who was drowned in Carpenter’s Pond back in 1907. He’s a big attraction at the Open Arms Bed and Breakfast, but it turns out there’s a much darker force looking for him. So in order to save the ghost and the Bed and Breakfast’s bottom line, I have to step in to 1.) figure out what’s after our little boy, and 2.) stop that force from getting him.

Also, I imagine I’d fall in love with the taciturn groundskeeper who has a heart of gold.

Fictional Career 5: Eccentric Old Lady Who Runs a Book Shop in a Beach Town Where Our Protagonist Solves a Crime

You can’t always be the hero of the story, and that’s totally fine. Sometimes, you’re the quirky side character who is very good-natured and a tremendous help to the protagonist, even though she doesn’t actually mean to be. I could very easily be the beachside book shop owner in a mystery novel, who casually mentions that Mr. Grimsby never takes sugar in his tea, unless it’s Sunday, which, naturally, would lead our protagonist to tying up this whole cozy little mystery of who killed the Widow Mosely.

I would also have a whole pack of well-trained (if not slightly incontinent) corgis who greeted customers as they came to the book shop.

Fictional Career 6: The First Well-Written Woman in a Stephen King Novel

Full disclosure: I haven’t read any of Stephen King’s novels. Why? Well, I’m of a generation of American children who saw the film versions of his books at a way-too-young age, and were mentally and emotionally scarred for life because of it. Seriously, I can’t think about It or The Shining without wetting my pants a little. For this reason, I can’t read the books.

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However, I have read some of his short stories, and it’s pretty obvious that despite having been married for a pretty long time, Mr. King has actually never met an actual, real-life woman. That’s why he creates these female characters that are just opportunities for male characters to be terrible. That’s why I’d like to apply to be his first, fully-formed, dynamic female character.

Fictional Career 7: The Inexplicably Well-Paid Writer

I see these all the time in movies and TV shows. There’s always this writer who has some sort of weekly column, or a book proposal they’re working on, and for some reason, they aren’t stone cold broke. That’s not real. In fact, most published novelists have day jobs. And there is no newspaper in the world these days that can afford to have a single person on the payroll full-time just writing one column a week.

That’s why this is a fictional job I’d like to have. If you’re in need of a writer who has very little output in relation to the money she is paid, I’m your gal. Because I’ve been a writer full-time most of my adult life, and I’ve found that it’s always the other way around.

Fictional Career 8: The Witch Who Lives Out in the Woods

So, definitely not like the Vvitch movie, because if a goat named Black Phillip asked me if I wanted to live deliciously, I’d be all like “Umm, you got something better than travel, clothes, and butter, son?” I mean, if I’m going to sell my soul, it’s going to be for something worthwhile.

In this scenario, I’d be more like Thoreau at Walden Pond if Thoreau had seen The Craft a bajillion times in the fifth grade and knew that he was destined to be a witch. I would mostly keep to myself, but occasionally people would come see me to have their cards read, or to have spell or potion made. But for the most part, I’d be an urban legend that the town’s people mostly ignored.

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Fictional Career 9: Head Librarian of the Mystical Archives

I’m not 100% sure where these archives would be, but they would be full of magical articles. Think The Librarians meets Warehouse 13 meets some sort of Avalonian priestess cult. That’s pretty much my calling. And, I think it’s worth noting that I do have a Masters of Library and Information Studies, so I’m pretty much qualified to have this job.

If you are the owner of such an archive and you’re looking for someone to take over as the Head Librarian, shoot me an email. I’ve read enough high fantasy in my lifetime to pretty much handle whatever sort of thing your archives hold, and I look great in solemn robes and have no aversion to wearing enchanted amulets.

I look great in solemn robes and have no aversion to wearing enchanted amulets. Click To Tweet

Fictional Career 10: Harry Potter’s Therapist

Look. He dealt with a lot. From the emotional and psychological abuse from the Dursleys, to being thrown into a world he didn’t know existed only to find out that there was a dark lord who wanted him dead, Harry didn’t have a very easy childhood. I mean, sure. He had great friends and had very supportive adults in the magic world, but you know homeboy has some feelings to get off his chest. And, as someone who has enjoyed the series and asked for her boyfriend to get her a Mimbulus Mimbletonia instead of flowers, I think I am uniquely qualified to not only discuss the world of witchcraft and wizardry, but also the emotional trauma that Harry has to work through.

Plus, we both have a thing for redheads and we could totally bond over that.

14 Responses

  1. This is an impeccable list of options. I’m going to stop raging against the jobs I’m not getting and start hustling these side gigs!

  2. Re: Fictional Career #9 – There is an anime you need to see. It’s called The Mystic Archives of Dantalian and it’s FANTASTIC. The anime is not really serious, but it’s an interesting concept with great characters. I haven’t read the manga, so I can’t give a recommendation about that. But really, your description of “Think The Librarians meets Warehouse 13 meets some sort of Avalonian priestess cult.” is really close to what the anime is like.

  3. Such a phenomenal list of fictional careers. I can just imagine the topics of discussion at Harry Potter’s therapist….. hahahha

    1. I think one minute he’d be crying about his parents, and the next he’d be confessing to revenge fantasies he has about his cousin Dudley.

  4. Re: No. 6. He did not do so badly with Charlie McGee in “Firestarter,” but you’d still be the first well-written — or believeable — *adult* woman he’s written.

    1. I totally forgot about Charlie! And I guess Carrie is well-written. Only, I don’t know if we can count her because her crazy-ass mom almost cancels out all sympathy you would feel for her if she were real.

      1. I agree. Carrie’s well-written enough, but she’s a damaged person and doesn’t really let him off the hook in creating a “normal” well-written woman. Can’t remember the old essay that says this, but a woman author sometime in the early 80s said he can’t write a believable woman character who’s her own agent between 8 (Charlie) and 108 (Mother Abigail in “The Stand.”)

          1. Tracked it down — it’s Chelsea Quinn Yarbro writing in “Fear Itself,” edited by Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller.

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