Writing With children
"There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall." -Cyril Connelly
Cyril Connelly probably gave the most controversial quote of all time. It is often discussed in one way or another, when writers (or artists!) cry over the difficulty of getting things done with little people in the house.
When my eldest (11) was a baby, he was not demanding. He would sit in the same spot for hours, even once he could move around. He is being investigated for various developmental and learning disabilities. He wouldn't sleep, still doesn't, but eventually we taught him to just stay in his room. I was a pretty happy, confident young mum, in part time employment. I wrote most days, and had plenty of time to mull ideas over.
Then came my youngest (3). The only peace I get is when she is at school or asleep! When she is awake and I am responsible for her, my time is in high demand. At this point in the writing of this post I have been interrupted no less than 4 times - for various reasons, none of which were life threatening.
I can see why the pram in the hall can be a problem. To be creative, you have to have time and space to just be, to smell the roses and make sense of the world around you. A current story I have in progress is set at a beautiful attraction owned by the National Trust and is local to me. I have visited a couple of times, but on those occasions it has been with my family. This means I have probably missed many details, as I have been too busy keeping children in line. So I will be visiting again soon. On my own!
That isn't to say that children are a hindrance. I have a couple of ideas for YA stories thanks to the insight of my 11 year old. I am also experiencing the same (or almost) as other families, so I can write stories readers relate to. I only have a couple of hours quiet during the school term, but I also have an amazing man who lets me escape into the wild to get the stories on to the screen. And if it wasn't for my children, I wouldn't make the most of the time I have available when I do get it. They do say there is nothing more motivating than not being able to get to the keyboard!
The pram in the hall is what you make of it. And if it is making art suffer, know that it isn't for long, and take joy in your offspring. And write any moment you can. Keep that notebook in the nappy bag.