The extent of my maternal skills is having a garden, and seeing as how I'm already tired of taking care of it after two months, I know that I'll never have kids.
But most people I know do have kids, so it's not like I'm a stranger to the toils and troubles that most parents face. Given what they say on a regular basis, I realized that being a writer isn't all that different from being a parent at times.
Deadlines are Seen as Suggestions
Writer: I send out an email that the deadline for copy is Sept. 1, and more often than not I'll get an email Sept. 1 that says, "When is the deadline? Can I send it to you next week?"
Parent: Stating that bedtime is at 8 p.m. more often than not means negotiations start at 7:59 with, "What time is it? Can I just go to bed when I'm tired...three hours from now?"
Writer: This can be a good thing because something you wrote was seen by thousands of people on the Internet. On the other hand, it can also mean some of those people make it their mission to be crappy and (try to) make your life miserable.
Parent: Going "viral" means someone is sick and things literally get crappy, making your life miserable.
Everyone Gives You Advice
Writer: One "expert" says the best way to write is to research and plan it all out, while another "expert" says to just start writing and let inspiration guide you.
Parent: One "expert" says to plan out your child's every movement, while another "expert" says to just let them be kids and make sure that they don't maim themselves.
Note: Either way, someone will tell you you're doing it wrong.
Writer: After working hard on something you're proud of, it's natural to want to share it will ALL the land because everyone should love it as much as you do. However, everyone will not love it as much as you do, and at times you're rather annoying.
Parent: After your kid does something no one has EVER done before--like started school, ate a snack or said something cute--it's natural to want to share it with ALL the land because everyone should love your kid as much as you do. However, everyone will not love your child as much as you do, and at times you're rather annoying.
Sleep is Never the Same
Writer: You lie awake in the middle of the night, worried that you will NEVER be creative again, or conversely, because you had a great idea that you absolutely had to write down.
Parent: You lie awake in the middle of the night, either worried about your offspring or because of your offspring waking you up to get them a glass of water they will forget that wanted a mere two minutes later.
Writer: While you hate to perpetuate a stereotype, you at least mentally correct the grammar of those you're around and people who know "there," "their" and "they're" get metaphorical gold stars every day.
Parent: No sweetheart, every time someone says, "I could care less" when they mean, "I couldn't care less," Santa Claus steals from cute kittens.
You Need Thick Skin
Writer: You're rejected more often than not, and thick skin is required (as are soft pillows for when you bang your head on your desk in despair, hypothetically speaking.)
Parent: Kids hold nothing back. If you're ugly or smell, they'll tell you you're ugly and smell. There's nowhere to hide.
In both instances, there is often whining and wine, a sense that you're usually underappreciated and that what you say is completely ignored most of the time.
But at the end of the day, you would do it all over again because the joys infinitely outweigh the pains. And if even one person loves what you create -- even if that one person is only you -- it makes it all worthwhile.
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