Have you ever looked at someone’s job and thought, wow, that sounds like tons of fun? It’s so easy to be jealous of people and their seemingly fabulous jobs and lives, since we never get to actually pull back the curtain and look behind the scenes. We see the cool Instagram photos, not the hours it took to get that one perfect shot. We see the successes and the end result, not the rough times leading up to that one big moment. Sure, it sucks to think that all that glitters is not gold, but, unfortunately, it’s totally true. The careers we dream about the most are often totally creative and the opposite of the corporate world. Here are 4 creative jobs that are not as much fun as you think – the hard work doesn’t make them any less enjoyable, but it’s a friendly reminder that even fun careers are still hard work.
1. Cookbook Author
Writing cookbooks for a living is right up there with being a food blogger as being a super fun way to earn a living. And, of course, many people turn their blogs into books and become cookbook authors as well. Sure, super big food celebs like Ina Garden are having an amazing time every day, hanging out and baking and cooking with other stars like Taylor Swift. But we just see the final products – the beautiful, shiny cookbooks filled with drool-worthy food photos and inspiring recipes – and we never see the hard work behind the cookbooks.
Being a cookbook author means hours upon hours upon hours of recipe testing, spending a fortune on ingredients, forcing yourself to be creative on demand, and making sure you’re putting out a super unique product that shows the world who you truly are. It’s not easy branding yourself, especially in the competitive world of food. For example, there are basically thousands of vegan or Paleo cookbooks out there – how do you stand out from the crowd? You know you’re special and your mom always told you that. But you have to prove it.
So what kind of money can you make? According to experienced writer and editor Dionne Jacobs, the advance for a cookbook could be $15,000. Paying for a photographer could cost $7,000 and so could all of the food that you have to buy too, you know, to actually test the recipes and make all the stuff that’s going to end up in the beautiful end product. With those kind of numbers, you don’t exactly end up a millionaire.
You don’t care about the money – you just think it would be super fun to cook all day long. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but imagine how fun it would be to test a recipe five times in a row and have it fail every single time. Or wake up at 5 a.m. every day for a month straight because you still have to test every dessert recipe and your deadline is fast approaching.
Just kidding (kind of). Writing cookbooks is definitely an amazing, impressive, creative job. It just takes a lot of work -- but everything worth having in life is hard work, right?
Ah, the life of an author. You get to make up stuff for a living. You tell stories, and people read those stories and it’s all super exciting. Well, yeah, it is. But “making up stuff” is actually hard work. It takes days and weeks and months to craft a super compelling, unique, interesting, and beautiful piece of fiction. Then it’s even more days and weeks and months of editing said piece of fiction to get it ready for publication.
You’re dealing with editors and literary agents and then, once the book is finally out there in the world, you’re promoting it. You travel a lot and on top of all that, you have to keep up with your social media accounts. Then you do it all over again and write another book. You have to balance your writing time with updating your blog and making sure your website’s content is super accurate, all while staying true to who you are and your brand. It’s a lot of juggling. You have to be a creative writer while also being a savvy businessperson. And you’re kind of a marketer and promoter, too. Phew.
3. Holistic Nutritionist
You’ve heard of a nutritionist or dietitian – and maybe you’ve even used one, to learn how to eat healthier and finally lose those last 5-10 pounds that we all seem to want to lose. A holistic nutritionist takes all that up a notch and focuses on your entire being. They want to know about your sleep schedule, your crazy stress levels, what kind of exercise you do (walking from the couch to the fridge doesn’t count, sorry), and what kind of family you grew up with. They’re going to take your life story and figure out how to make you the happiest, healthiest person you can possibly be.
Holistic nutrition is all about focusing on whole foods. No, not the super expensive supermarket. Actual food. Food that doesn’t have a million chemicals or ingredients that you just can’t possibly pronounce. You know – apples, oranges, broccoli, lettuce. The healthy stuff that you should be eating (and that you usually shun in favor of ordering yet another cheesy pizza). Holistic nutritionists are also super into healthy superfoods like quinoa and kale. So if you hate kale, it’s definitely not the career for you.
Where’s the hard work? Well, you have to promote yourself and find clients. You’re basically running your own business. On top of that, you have to stay super on top of every new piece of information and research that comes out about the healthy food world. From Paleo to vegan to gluten-free, there are tons of special diets out there, and you need to be a total expert on every single one of them so you can give your clients the best advice possible. Things change super fast – one day gluten is fine, the next it’s basically the devil – so get ready to get up close and personal with your Macbook. You spend a lot of time doing online research in this job. You also most likely write your own blog promoting your services and your philosophy and belief system, so that takes a lot of time, too.
4. Motivational Speaker
Do you want to make speeches and inspire people for a living? How about coach them about everything they should be doing to make themselves happier? Sounds pretty awesome, right? Lifestyle figures like Gabrielle Bernstein have crafted amazing careers for themselves as motivational speakers/life coaches. They give advice. They motivate. They are basically superhuman.
Except let’s take a closer look at the true lifestyle of a motivational speaker. It’s a life that involves a lot of long days, busy times and juggling a lot of balls at once. There’s the travel. Lots of travel. Sometimes you write books. Sometimes those books make it to the top of the New York Times list and then you have to travel some more to do some press for said bestselling, super successful book. You’re also speaking to the media constantly, appearing on TV and getting interviewed for magazine and newspaper articles, because you’re so awesome and inspiring that everyone wants to learn your secrets for a healthy, happy life.
Sounds exhausting, right? Fun, sure. But definitely lots of hard work. It may not be a typical, traditional 9-to-5 office job where you’re sharing an office space with a co-worker who munches on potato chips super loudly every hour on the hour. But it’s still hard work.
The grass is always greener on the other side, especially when it comes to careers, right? It’s easy to be jealous of people who have super fun jobs like writing books or cookbooks. But those jobs require tons of long hours and incredible amounts of hard work. You’re not exactly sitting around eating chocolate cake all day long just because you happen to be working on the dessert chapter of your cookbook (although that does sound like the perfect work day). The fact is, no matter how enjoyable a job is, it’s still – a job. And work is work, at the end of the day.