You know what I realized recently? Cops and writers have a lot in common. I’m serious. Hear me out. I’m married to a cop, and I’m a writer, so I don’t know why this only just occurred to me. But think about it.
Both cops and writers have a tendency to sit in the back of a room—generally speaking—so they can see what’s going on around them.
Both cops and writers are people watchers, paying attention to what others wear, how they act, what they say, facial expressions, nervous ticks, body language, shifty eyes—you name it.
Cops and writers often work odd hours.
Cops write daily reports about the infractions and complaints of real people, while writers make up pretend infractions and complaints of fictional ones.
Cops and writers both spend time researching things that might get the average person put on a homeland security watch list: Bank robbery, drug labs, types of guns, forensic science, poisons, the effects of bombs and other weapons of mass destruction, computer hacking, etc.
Also, people easily misread both cops and writers. Cops tend to be criticized or seen as bad, when in reality, it’s their job to serve and protect everyone in a community. Writers tend to be criticized or looked down on for their creative streaks that may (or may not) seem eccentric, for the words or actions of the characters in their books (which are usually out of our control) or for their tendency to “daydream” mid-conversation or at other inopportune times, and yet these are often the moments when brilliance is born.
Cops are brave. Their job sometimes requires them to run at a scary situation rather than away.
Writers are also brave. Our job requires dumping portions of our heart out in front of millions of people (potentially) and put it up for criticism from every one of those millions.
Yep. That’s a lot all right. Who knew! Did I miss anything?