It has occurred to me on more than one occasion that being a parent and being a writer have quite a bit in common. I can honestly say I am no expert at either but each shapes me in similar ways. Here are some of the shared traits I've noticed between the two:
1. Both roles take commitment, effort, energy, and love. Every day. Consistently.
2. They inspire happiness, sadness, joy, sorrow, laughter, and curiosity.
3. They can both wear you out without meaning to.
4. They require patience and an open mind.
5. You are going to make mistakes. You have to get over it, go back, and do better.
6. You may have to enlist the help of others; this is okay.
7. Sometimes, in both, the things you say won't be what you mean and sometimes the things you mean won't be what you say.
8. You are always learning. You are never done. You never know everything.
9. You always have more to give; it may not seem like it some days, but it's there, inside you.
10. You are ridiculously protective of both your child and your manuscript.
11. You have to be willing to accept flaws; nothing and no one is perfect.
12. They both require focus. Sometimes so much that you feel like your eyes will cross.
13. They can cause lack of sleep.
14. These roles both fill something inside you that nothing else could.
15. In both of these roles, letting go, even a little bit at a time, is not easy, but often necessary.