You might remember I recently interviewed Andrew Daddo about Creativity and Change for Words and Nerds podcast.
Perhaps I’m subconsciously creating an ad hoc series, as I was lucky enough to takeover another episode to chat to the very funny Kerri Sackville about Creativity and Parenting (which we could probably sub-title Creativity and Chaos).
We talk a lot about writing in the midst of chaos, squeezing the words in even as family life roils around us.
I documented a lot of the early days of my career as a children’s author right here on this blog, when I was juggling fulltime freelance writing with family and stealing away to write my books.
From little kids, big kids grow
Things have changed for me as my kids have grown and my fiction writing has been able to move more into the centre of my working days. One thing that doesn’t change, however, is how much space children take up in your brain.
When they’re little, you spend a lot of time worrying about the eating, sleeping, breathing, whinging end of things. They’re constantly underfoot, demanding attention.
Then they get bigger.
Now they’re not underfoot all the time but that space in the brain that worries about eating and sleeping and breathing, well, it doesn’t switch off. And because they’re more absent there’s a whole lot more ‘what if?’ taking up residence.
And still I write.
One might think that having larger swathes of time would mean hours and hours spent at my computer, but, in truth, my days are not that different.
I still have a million non-writing-related things to do.
I still write fiction, on average, for about an hour a day. It seems to be my natural limit, or perhaps it’s simply been honed into a habit from years and years of fitting my writing in around other people’s lives.
One thing I know about creativity and parenting
The one thing I know for sure is that I’m glad I started when I did. When it was really tough to make it work and it seemed impossible.
If you’ve got little kids and a big dream to write a novel, I see you.
If you’ve only got time to write a paragraph a day, I see you.
If you’ve got one eye on soccer practice, and your mind is far way in a completely different world, I see you.
If it feels like you will never get to The End, I see you.
You can do it.