Writers Are Like Moms

Being a writer is like being a mom with kids who never sleep. No matter the time of day, there are always idea-children running around the house chasing each other or sitting in the hallway for you to trip over.

They track mud everywhere. They color on the walls. They yell and laugh and cry and scream.

You can’t even lock yourself in the bathroom.

They follow you everywhere–outside, inside, in the car, out in public. Never a moment’s rest.

There’s no such thing as silence.

They distract you and demand your attention and hang on everything you do. 

If you don’t respond right away, they might run away. And then when you look for them, they might play hide-and-seek. (No guarantees you’ll find them.)

They’re unruly and unpredictable and untameable. Sometimes you hate them. Sometimes you want to scream. (It’s okay if you do.) Sometimes you try to kick them out.

But you love them. You’re the first one to stand up for them, and you’re always there to protect them and take care of them. Even if they drive you mad.

Sometimes you turn off the lights, close the blinds, and put on the nighttime music, and that’s when the party erupts. Throughout the entire house. For the entire night. And people wonder why you have circles under your eyes.

Other times you shoo them outside to play and they slump instead against the walls, the chairs, or the sofas. You try to coax, demand, and eventually shove them out the door, but they refuse to budge. And people wonder why you never leave the house.

And the worst thing is? These kids are invisible to everyone but you. So when you try to explain the circles under your eyes or the confinement to your house or the incomprehensible passion of both love and frustration burning in your chest, everyone looks at you as if you’re crazy.

And maybe you are, just a little bit. But when those kids finally grow up and leave the house and start lives of their own and other people see them, those people will see you too. They’ll see the years of struggle you went through (and might still be going through). They’ll see that every moment was worth it.

But if that graduation never comes, if your kids never leave the house and you’re still living in the middle of the chaos, don’t forget that you’re living. Treasure the time with those crazy kiddos, because they weren’t made for others–they were made for you first. And if you don’t enjoy them, you might as well be living in an empty house.

7 thoughts on “Writers Are Like Moms

  1. Aha, I’m loving this analogy. And I like your writing style too, because it drew me right in. And yes, now that you put it that way, having these idea-children run around is so much better than an empty house.


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