I was a writer. Well, I'm still a writer. But about eight years ago, I was a TV screenwriter where I earned between $1,500 and $2,800 a week. Sometimes I was the assistant and sometimes I was the author. Either way, I loved it. I sat in a room full of silly, but brilliant people, and we made stories together.
This year, I am working in a field so far from entertainment that it's not even ironic. Meanwhile, my friends and former colleagues are posting the following:
Please share and RT. I cannot believe how blessed I am to have my own show.
My acquaintances are writing for network programs on Disney, Lifetime and NBC. What happened to my career?
Well, I had a baby—which was the best accident ever. Then my husband battled a chronic illness that required my full attention. Eventually, my marriage ended and my resources were stretched beyond their limit. I needed a J-O-B. Regular, steady paychecks were better than chasing fantasies and hustling at networking events.
I still write. I am 45,000 words into a memoir. I compose blogs and miscellaneous content for politicians, friends and whoever is hiring. Sometimes I get paid a bit, but honestly, I would write for free if I had to—because writing for me is like breathing. When I was paid to breathe, it felt like heaven.
Recently, I attended an industry event where previous winners of a prestigious program—that I had also been a part of—were in attendance. I was surrounded by quite a few regular folk who have moved on, a handful of millionaires who stayed in and those in the middle who are always trying to get back in.
Most of the women in the room put off or chose not to have children to pursue their careers.
I told one program fellow how proud I was of her for getting staffed on the hottest cop drama this season. She looked at me like I was off and said, "Yeah, but you have a baby."
I did the math. Most of the women in the room put off or chose not to have children to pursue their careers. The common theme for men who speak at educational panels is their grief about missing the milestones in their kids' lives.
TV comedy writers work from 10 a.m. until it is f#**ing funny. You only have to work that hard for about five months and then you go back to the hustle. Most of the writing jobs are occupied by males. I know women who have gone on interviews and answered every personal question vaguely so that the producer could not figure out whether or not this potential employee would bring the burden of motherhood (back-to-school nights, sick kid days, holidays) into the room.
As a result, in the room, everyone tells nanny stories. As the only bio-parent who is physically present, I could not be the mom that I am and have the career that I envy. The two are not compatible in the early years, and maybe not ever.
Now that my son is older and my life is more stable, I am trying to get back in. But sometimes, I judge myself so harshly for taking my whole life off track by having that beautiful baby boy ... rather than realizing I have something these successful writers just might wish they had. It's just too bad we have to choose.