Q. How hard is it to break into the industry with kids? If I were to pursue being a television writer, I'm imagining incredibly long hours and an environment unforgiving of kids' illnesses and other things. After all, there's lots of talented people without kids wanting to get into any spot I might have worked my way into.
Plenty of TV writers have kids. I have kids. Granted, relatively fewer emerging writers have kids. But it can be done.
Your first few jobs will likely be freelance. So long as you get the work done, no one cares when you do it. So no problem there.
Once you're on staff, yeah, the hours are long. Your spouse may need to pick up the slack. In return, once you're unemployed again, you can return the favor.
Also, in a pinch, most decent showrunners will let you go pick up your sick kid, if there's no current crisis.
There are also people called nannies. US TV writers get paid tons of money. If you're making $5,000 a week, you ought to be able to afford a little help with the kids. Just consider it part of the cost of being a writer.
The downside to being on a show is you don't see your kids as much as you'd like. On the other hand, a TV writer who works 6 months out of the year is doing extremely well. So you make up for it during the other 6 months when you are in your kids' faces to the point they probably get sick of you and go hide in their room and play Xbox 360.
Labels: breaking in
When we were expecting our first child, people told me that my priorities would change, which, to me, seemed like a bad thing. I was working for a video game company and was intent on moving up and actually enjoyed my job for the first time in my life. Once she was born, I took the year parental leave and didn't go back. Not seeing her for six months of the year (which is what would have happened) was simply not worth it to me.
I've made a lot of sacrifices for my children, but I don't consider them sacrifices. The bigger one would have been not being able to see my kids.
If I don't have the writing career that I envisioned, but am a great father, I would consider myself a success. Of course, I'd also dearly love to do both.
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