I’ve had more than my fair share of jobs: paperboy, busboy, yacht technician, landscaper, house painter, production assistant, office manager, carpenter, spin instructor, college professor, screenwriter, producer, director, and Co-Founder of The Script Lab. But despite all of these working experiences, the hardest two jobs I have had (and still work at everyday) are as husband and parent.
Sure, I’ve made mistakes – lots of them. It took me almost a decade to understand that my wife didn’t want me to “fix” every problem; she just wanted me to listen. And when it comes to parenting, I figure if I screw my kids up just a little bit less than my parents did me, then I’m doing alright. But the reality is these are hard jobs because they are “full time” in the literal sense of the word. You don’t get to be a parent or a spouse between 2 and 4 on a Sunday, or whenever it’s convenient. It’s an every day, every hour, every minute occupation. If you want to be a good parent, if you strive to be a good husband or wife, you can never take a day off.
Writing is no different.
We grow up fast and the days when your biggest concerns were PB&J, Kool-Aid, and Mac & Cheese are quickly swallowed by mortgages, life insurance, and taxes. And if we're paying attention, we quickly realize that life will knock us down more times than we can possibly imagine. So I say, don’t knock yourself down. Keep writing.
If you take your writing job seriously, as you should as a parent and/or spouse, then you’ll embrace that good writers do the hard work. They actually write. Every day.