Any time I crawl up my own ass and start thinking that my job is hard, I usually get a shot of much-needed perspective. It comes in the form of a text from my girlfriend, telling me about her day.
She is a nurse. I have the utmost respect for what she does because, my god, it makes being a writer look like babytown frolics. The woman literally deals with shit and piss all day long. The only shit I have to deal with is the quality of my own writing. Zing.
We’ve reached a point where I have simply stopped telling her about my day. I’ve realized that the hardest day in the history of writers is better than the easiest day in the history of nurses.
A few years ago, we stumbled on a comic that could have been taken from one of our text strings. It’s actually scary.
My Day vs. Her Day
The other day, it was nice outside, so I decided to work in my backyard. I went back inside after a few minutes because I was bothered by ants. That was my big stress that day.
I texted her to see how her day was going. She told me that she went outside on her break, saw a cyclist get hit by a car, and had to rush over to deal with their mangled legs… That’s what she did on her fucking break!
She dealt with that. I dealt with ants.
The utter ridiculousness of my day compared to hers has become an ongoing joke between us. A while back, she sent me a selfie of her holding a bottle of Enemol, with wide-eyes and a face that says, “It’s Go-Time.” If you don’t know what Enemol is, here’s a hint, it goes in bums.
I love that picture. I often use it to make fun of myself after I complain about something vacuous, like I’m annoyed at having to work from my phone because my laptop is updating. I will soon text her a homemade meme. It’s her, with the Enemol, captioned something like, “You had to work from your phone, Ry? You poor thing.”
We’ve joked about starting a reality show where couples swap jobs for a day. But, the episode where her and I switch jobs would be tough to beat. Picture me losing my mind after finding out what an old person skin dust cloud is. And then cut to her playing with my cat and falling asleep at my desk.
Writers vs Nurses. Yeah, It’s Not Even Close
Is writing hard? Yes. Professional-level writing is extremely hard. I hope to try it someday.
But is the writer gig a difficult one? Nah, I’ve had about a billion other jobs that were much harder than this. The most absurd was being a laborer for a pool company that specialized in boulder waterfalls. These psychos spent the entire day in the hot sun, moving and positioning actual god damn boulders. By hand.
To rephrase a Mitch Hedberg joke, “I once was a boulder waterfall laborer. Yeah. I remember that… day.”
That being said, I would rather move boulders than remove catheters.
Being a writer is easy when you compare it to the literal shitstorms that nurses have to deal with. I have to deal with insane deadlines, even more insane clients and my own various hangovers. But, really, I’m doing just fine. I’m good.
Despite what I said earlier, I actually do tell her about my day… Sometimes. Mainly when she’s having trouble sleeping. Seriously, hearing about Google algorithm updates puts her right out.