My day typically starts early, making breakfast and packing lunch for my son. My daughter usually makes an appearance early and eats too. Then, my son takes a shower, gets dressed and we walk to the bus stop. After that, my day becomes a flurry of activity.
My daughter is usually home with me, and she colors, reads, plays, dances and watches some TV. Meanwhile, I answer emails, test recipes, write and work on other assignments. Oh, and photograph food … lots of it. It’s busy. I’m busy.
But sometimes it feels like all people see is the mom who drops her daughter off to preschool midday, a little late with her hair mussed and minimal makeup. They see a mom who is around during the day and can be the Mystery Reader for her son’s class. What they don’t see is the busy working mother who also takes care of her kids at the same time.
So, when people find out about my blog, their response is fairly predictable: Oh, do you do that for fun? So, blogging, is that what you do? Oh, how fun! I’ve thought of starting a blog too.
The questions get deeper though. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if blogging was my career or if Sarah’s Cucina Bella is my primary source of income, I would have that beachside home that I dream about already. I’ve been asked it so many times, that I realized that I now have a stock answer that I can say almost without thought.
Yes, I do blog, but blogging is a small part of what I do. I’m a writer, editor and recipe developer, so that makes up the bulk of my career and my blog serves as a marketing tool (though it does generate some income).
That’s usually met with “Oh, wow!” or “Cool!” or “Very nice.”
Honestly, I am not sure there are many careers that result in such probing questions or invasive ones. Normally, in polite conversation, it’s rude to ask how someone makes money. Asking about a career? That’s one thing. But asking how someone makes money violates those silent rules of boundaries.
People would never ask a surgeon how they earn their income. Something along the lines of “So, how much of your income comes from the HMOs and PPOs and how much comes from the patients or hospital?” would be deemed unbelievably rude — and rightfully so.
So, why then is it okay to probe a freelance writer about income? What makes a writer less worthy of privacy when it comes to how they make money?