It's a glamorous thing, being an author. Besides the job insecurity and often low pay, you get the joy of working from home and having involved conversations with your cats. And if you're lucky, you might even get to go on a book tour, visiting exotic motels and speaking to audiences of five, sometimes 10, bookstore patrons.
According to market research company YouGov, however, that life sounds pretty good to a lot of Britons. A poll of more than 14,000 U.K. residents has revealed that author is the most desired job in Britain, followed by librarian and academic. The writing life holds huge appeal for the British -- as YouGov notes, "Not only would the most people like to be one (60%), the smallest percentage would not like to be one (32%)."
"Author" beat out some more traditionally lucrative professions, including lawyer, doctor, Hollywood movie star, and, uh, journalist. The least desired jobs, according to the poll, are miner, call center worker, and traffic warden.
Responses to the survey differed by gender. The poll found that women are more likely than men to want to be an author or a librarian, while men are more likely to want to be a Formula 1 driver, investment banker, or "dustbin man." (That's the British equivalent to the American "garbage collector.")
YouGov notes that "Instead of actors and musicians, it seems that an aura of prestige still surrounds the quiet, intellectual life enjoyed by authors, librarians and academics." Writers and librarians who have grown accustomed to incessant questions from readers and patrons might quibble with the "quiet" part, but hey -- annoyances aside, at least it's not coal mining.