Every young person sees himself as the star athlete, the video game designer extraordinaire, or herself as the president or a musical sensation and star of stage and screen. Reality is a little more understated.
Not every writer produces a best seller bound to be a blockbuster movie. Many writers make a decent living by writing instruction manuals, advertisements, sports reports or other everyday productions.
Of course, this is true in any career field. For every Annie Leibovitz there are hundreds of photographers working for newspapers, documenting weddings or making sure that all the sixth graders have their faces appropriately immortalized in the middle school yearbook.
However, today, as I was looking up things in the dictionary, I had to wonder what kind of artist ends up creating the illustrations for Merriam-Webster. Was it their first choice of professions? Do they get to pick which words to illustrate or is there some formula such as every 200th noun gets a picture? Can they negotiate if they’d much rather draw a penguin instead of a platypus? When they get home, do they paint like Norman Rockwell or Salvador Dali for fun?
Of course, they wonder the same things about us writers.