Saturday, April 21, 2007

Writer/Parent or Parent/Writer?

Finding that balance between a fruitful creative life and the obligations and joys of family life has been a constant struggle for me, and in this month's Poets & Writers section The Literary Life, Dan Barden's article "Writer as Parent" voices some of what I've been feeling:

Parenting is no doubt difficult for people in all professions, but I believe there are special challenges for writers. First of all, there's the matter of time: You not longer have any.

There should be no doubt about this, but the time you do have to yourself you are so spent that there's little energy.

Not only is there no time, but there's precious little space. And by that I mean both in the world and in my head.

The little buggers steal even your random thoughts.

Now I work in ten-minute chunks whenever life will allow--and count myself lucky for that.

Take that Walter (three-hours-a-day) Mosley. Maybe this is the real key to getting things done when you have a life, and other responsibilities.

Ultimately, the only appropriate response to a child is surrender. In this, too, it reminds me very much of the writing process.

When playing or caring for a child, that need be all there is in the world. And that is how it should also be when writing. If only I could have my mornings back so that I could do more of that thing called writing.

With the changes coming soon, I wonder when I will be able to write. Or sleep, for that matter.


  1. Mosley has indeed seemed rather preachy lately, hasn't he?

  2. Not that anything Mosley says is necessarily wrong (I may end up buying his book yet), but I do get sick of hearing "a writer must" do this or that.