The Collective Inkwell Interview: Joel Schwartzberg

The Collective Inkwell Interview: Joel Schwartzberg

Our interview today is with writer and TV producer, Joel Schwartzberg, the author of The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad. The book, a series of thought provoking and humorous essays on his journey of becoming a better dad following his divorce, also touches on a subject that is both controversial and not talked about much, male depression following the birth of a child. We talk with Joel about his book, his creative process, the dangers of public confession of personal thoughts and about the controversy surrounding an article he wrote in Newsweek about male depression. How did you get started in writing? I’ve always loved to write – I even get a thrill out of addressing envelopes.  Having lovingly dabbled in essay writing in high school and college, I suddenly decided to see just how good I was (read: if I could make any money by merely writing). I sent a few sample pieces to my local paper who took me on as a weekly columnist. My pieces commingled with gardening tips and bat-mitzvah announcements, but I was proud and it gave me great confidence to aspire higher. After taking a Mediabistro course, I was ready to write and submit to larger magazines and newspapers. Getting published in The New York Times Magazine was a big deal, and gave me the boost I needed to keep both my ambition and my standards on a very high shelf. Since then I’ve been in Newsweek, The Star Ledger, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, Babble.com, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and lots of regional parenting magazines,...