Will He Change My Writing?

As of today, I’ll be taking a short break from Cecile’s Writers. I’ve just given birth to my first-born and will be fully concentrating on him for the time-being. Hopefully, I’ll be back to posting blogs in a month or so. But that, of course, depends on how things go. My fellow Cecile’s Writers will continue to post and blog, so there’ll be no lack of content.

I can’t help but wonder if having a child and becoming a mum will change my writing. It’s already noticed a change as far as quantity is concerned. In the first trimester of pregnancy, I didn’t get a word down on paper (or a word typed on the screen) due to nausea; and in the past few months, I’ve written less due to lack of sleep. (Although all mothers have warned me that that’s nothing to what’s yet to come after birth).

But I’m very curious to discover if he’ll influence the content of my writing. Will I see the world differently and will that reflect in how I write? Or what I write about?

So, you mums, and of course dads, out there: what was your experience? Does having a child influence your writing? And any tips on how to get back into the swing of writing between feedings and diaper changes?

Vanessa

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10 Responses to “Will He Change My Writing?”

  1. Congratulations a bit late! My son has added immensely to my life and writing, if not to my stockpile of sleep. I don’t journal, so I’m using a corner of my blog to write about my writing and reading experiences with him. The rest of the memorabilia is stowed in box.

  2. Congrats! My first-born definitely change my worldview and my novel. It took me longer than expected to start writing again, but when I did, I had a different perspective on my characters and the structure, and that absolutely made my book better. Now, with baby #2, I try not to get frustrated when we have a bad night, or not enough napping, or a too-early morning wakeup, because all those things erase my writing time. When that happens, I let my expectations go and tell myself I’ll write the next day instead. I am usually a daily writer; sleep deprivation makes me cranky, and facing the page and not being able to concentrate is frustrating too. So I give myself a free card and consider myself lucky when both kids’ schedules align so I can write.

    Writing in short spurts, by the way, has been an incredible thing to learn. I used to put three or four hours aside to write. Now I can get something accomplished in 10 or 15. It’s made me a better, more efficient writer. Yuvi Zalkow has a wonderful video presentation about how having a baby made his writing more efficient: http://yuvizalkow.com/videos/failed2/

    Enjoy! And I agree about the journal keeping. Mine is on the computer because I can type so much faster, and my handwriting is pretty messy these days. I’ll print the pages out someday and put them in a binder.

  3. Congratulations, Vanessa! How wonderful! Having a baby most definitely changes one’s outlook on life. I think it gives a deeper, richer understanding of life, of the long view, of how everything you do in your life, from now until your son is grown, will affect his life too. Of course, these will be deep thoughts squeezed into sporadic, sublime moments in the daily craziness of caring for a baby, perhaps as you sing him to sleep or gaze into his eyes as he nurses.

    I will agree with Naomi, and encourage you to keep a journal, It will be hard, because you will be tired and so tempted to just let it go, and let it go again. But don’t. I used to let days and weeks go by and kept thinking I would catch up and remember everything. But of course I couldn’t remember everything I wanted to, and now I wish so much I would have been a little more diligent then.

    Regardless, the most important thing is to enjoy your baby boy, whether you are writing a journal, a novel, or nothing at all. He is what matters most. I am so happy for you!

  4. Hi there,
    Congratulations! That is great news indeed!
    As far as I’m concerned, I’m more of a photographer, but it’s still a creative activity. When you have kids, it’s just as Claire said – you “steal” time to create something. You do it in the evenings (when you’re lucky) or at night…
    Anyway, it can be done. It’s slightly harder, but possible.

    Plus, this wonderful fact does change your atitude towards life… I guess I look at things in a different way, you tend to focus on the future more, even when I drive, I think to drive more responsibly so that my sons have their dad for a longer time. You know, this kinda thing… :-)
    All the best!
    Norbert

  5. Congratulations, and enjoy this precious time.

    If I look back at my writing it feels continuous, in fact I ask myself, was there ever a period in my life without distractions, and if there was did I appreicate it, probably not? Writing for me has always been about stealing time, making that time and children have only made it a richer experience. Just let it be, it’s all good.

  6. Congratulations, Vanessa! (I actually only started writing after Finn was born, so I guess he had a big effect.)

  7. Wow, Vanessa. No idea what the changes will be but this is definitely exciting, life-changing news. Congratulations and enjoy!
    - Carrie

  8. I am so happy for you, Vanessa! Having my two kids has been the best, the happiest, the hardest most worthwhile and rewarding thing I have ever done. It was when my first was still a baby that I began my first novel, because it was something i could do at home. If you’re lucky your baby will nap a couple of times a day, and then you can run for the computer. But it is a very short time that they are young–they grow up far too quickly. You will become a deeper participant of life, see the world through their innocent eyes, and fill up your story banks with enough material to last the rest of your life! I read and told stories to my kids all the time, and now they are both writers and storytellers. What a lovely thing that has been to share with them.

    One quick suggestion. I kept a journal for each kid in which I jotted down little stories–first word, or my thoughts regarding the babies or motherhood, interesting things they said or did when they were little. I did for myself and for them–they still love to look through it and read about themselves as babies. It is full of stuff I was sure I would remember, but my brain was so full that I would have forgetton it all the next day if I taken a moment or two to write it down. Now those books are irreplaceable treasures. Best wishes to you and your family!

  9. I am not a parent, but I wanted to congratulate you! I hope this is a wonderful time in your life. And I’m sure that although the creativity may experience a hiatus, it will shape your writing in a really interesting and positive way. Take care, enjoy. :)

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