The other day someone I was once close to told me I knew nothing about working, because I hadn't worked in over four years.
She smiled when she said this, like it was just two friends talking.
Like she wasn't cutting down what I do.
I beg to differ.
My schedule doesn't follow a typical nine to five, Monday through Friday work week. It also doesn't fit into a swing schedule.
I work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and slave down many different paths.
Unlike her work history, I don't get vacations, holidays, or time off.
I'm on call all the time.
I also don't do just one thing. I'm not just a waitress. I'm not just a manager. I'm not just an office drone. I'm not just a taxi driver, legal adviser, or psychologist.
I'm that and so much more.
I'm sure by now you're probably assuming I'm speaking of motherhood.
You'd be wrong.
Yes, I'm a stay at home mom, and that too is a full time job. One I'm proud of, and work hard at. It also encompasses everything I just listed, and more.
It's still not what I'm referring to though.
No, I'm a writer.
Every minute of my day I'm at work.
My characters don't sleep, and often times they keep me from sleeping as well.
After all, who needs sleep?
Whenever I meet a person, I'm working.
Whenever I read a book, I'm working.
Whenever I see another tragedy in the news, I'm working.
Everything I write about, I learn.
Each character has their own life, their own problems, and their own knowledge.
Because I create them, and I'm responsible for them, I have all that too.
Writing isn't easy.
It's not a cake walk, and it's not for the weak.
Being told I don't understand the working world, because I haven't been in it in four years is crass and uneducated.
Writing is work, and it's just as much a business as any restaurant, hospital, or office.
The major difference? As a writer I'm responsible for all of it. I don't have someone cutting me a paycheck each week, or notifying the IRS of my income.
I don't come home after a hard day and shut it all off.
I don't get time off for special events, or because it's required.
Imagination doesn't get days off, and neither does commitment or drive.