When I meet someone new, one of the first questions one of us usually asks is, "What do you do for a living?" For me, the answer has always been "I'm an engineer" because that's what my day job is, what it's been since I graduated from college, and what it'll be for the foreseeable future. I'm used to people knowing me as an engineer.
However, in the last year, something's changed. I started meeting people who knew me primarily as an author. These weren't people I met online through my author social media or this blog. They're people I ran into in person. My family or friends have told them that I write, and I'm still taken aback when they ask about my books.
I must say that conversations are more entertaining when I talk about being an author. When I tell someone that I'm an engineer, either their eyes glaze over or they react with, "Oh, you're another one of those." (I work in Silicon Valley, where engineers are a dime a dozen.) However, when someone knows me as an author, they want to know about the books I wrote, or how I write, or they want to tell me about a story idea that they have. Everyone knows what books are and have some idea of what authors do. It's a calling that captures people's imaginations. I've heard statistics that say 80% to 90% of all Americans want to write a book sometime in their lives. Somehow, I don't see as many people saying they want to be engineers. :-)
One of these days, I might tell people that I'm an author when I introduce myself. I think it would be fun to. Until then, I'll relish the surprises that come up when someone knows me as an author first and foremost.