Whenever I tell anyone I’m using motherhood as an excuse to start writing novels they look at me like I’m bonkers. But you’d be surprised how conducive a new person is to writing about the world.
Firstly, they go an awfully long way to giving you the discipline that’s needed to be a proper writer. It’s remarkably motivating to have a small creature attached to you who could go off at any moment. I know I can rely on about an hour and a half of quiet time, so that’s now how long it takes me to write my 1500 words.
Secondly, and this is actually entirely an addendum of the above, they remind you what’s important. I am at home with my son because I’ve managed to convince myself and those who are close to me that I’m a writer. So if I stop writing… Well, I’d just have to go and get a proper job, and I doubt I’d be able to bring my son along.
The third reason is the one that brings me to this week’s prompt:
‘Seek the wisdom of the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child’ Ron Wild
I’ve studied writing for forever. I could tell you exactly what you need to do to produce something worthwhile. And yet there are still moments when I am trying to write and I have no idea what I’m doing.
I could think about the accepted wisdom, about the writers whose work I admire. I could think about the theory, about the tricks I know would manipulate my reader. But actually what works better than anything else is to think about my child.
My child, who has no idea of what a cliche is or why you might want to avoid one. My child, who can help me see anew the world which has made me weary over the years. My child, who inspires a fresh approach to the most mundane of experiences.
I spent years as a grown-up trying to conjure the time and the confidence that I needed to write, but it is only since I’ve been a mother that I’ve been able to make that a reality.
The wisdom of the ages has its place in what I do for sure, but it is my son who is my biggest inspiration.