I was thinking yesterday that, like it or not, I'm a little bit trapped in my job right now. The job market for research people has collapsed as grant funding has slowed to a trickle. And that's okay. My job is not horrific. There are many worse jobs.
But then I was reading a book last night, and it occurred to me that maybe I just need to switch careers.
I'm gonna be a writer!
Stop. That's ridiculous. I don't have that kind of self-discipline.
No, I was reading a book, and a situation occurred and then the two characters were having a fight about it and I was thinking, "they are going about this all wrong." The guy in the book was very wrong, but the girl was approaching it at a completely pathetic angle. And it happens to me all the time! In books, movies, even when friends are recounting their fights. I'm not saying I could win every fight (because sometimes you're just wrong. Or partly wrong), but I could at least keep everybody on topic.
I think people should hire me as a "fight coach."
Um. On second thought, seeing that all written out, I think that title might give the wrong impression. Let's call it a "discussion coach." Because, let's be real, I'm not going to win a fight. And if all you want to do is yell at people, I'm not going to be much help there, either. And I'll do what I can to help you, but my contract stipulates you can't win against crazy, and you might as well not try.
So here's the plan: you would call me up and tell me about the situation that's irking you. For a modest fee, I'd tell you if you were right, or mostly right, or a little right, or completely wrong. Then, if you want to pursue the matter, I'd tell you what your talking points are. I think a lot of the time people are upset, but they have a hard time pin-pointing exactly what about a situation is bothering them. I can do that! If you want to purchase the whole package, I'll even go and have the discussion for you - provided you can show proof that your opponent isn't crazy or violent.
In the meantime, do you think it would be weird to write to the author with a revised manuscript where her characters have a "discussion" that isn't ridiculous?