A Literal Comparison Between Parenting and Writing

chocolate milk bubbles

This has no relevance. I just like it.


Sometimes the words work.

Sometimes they don’t.

It’s like saying please when you ask nicely for something. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. There’s no rhyme nor reason when it will work and it when it won’t. It either does or it doesn’t.

I’ve sat down at this keyboard a dozen times today wondering what to tell you fine readers. I know you’re itching, on the edge of your seats, pacing the floor just waiting for my next bit of wisdom like we did before The Force Awakened. Here it is. Prepare yourself.

Writing is like parenting. Sometimes you play, sometimes you discipline. Sometimes the play is fun, sometimes the discipline doesn’t work and you sit and wonder why you even bother.

death starBecause hindsight is 20/20 or better I only recommend looking back when you’ve put enough distance between yourself and the last time you looked. Otherwise it’s like trying to see how big the Death Star is while piloting the Meridian Trench. You need to give the patterns time to develop, time to extend themselves. Why didn’t a “time out” work that time? It worked last time. Why weren’t the ideas flowing that time? They flowed last time.

Because a five year old’s mood is a trampoline. Up down up down up down. We could be
doing flips and twists and pikes and pucks on a toddler’s mood. Good luck reasoning with them after you put their chocolate milk in the red cup instead of the blue one. Because the muse that moves the words from mind to fingertip is as touchy. She (I’m wholly convinced it’s a she, but not because of the moods) can dam the flow of ideas like the great, industrious Canadian Beaver. Then your writing is damned. You’ll be left staring a blinking cursor. I’m telling you man, every third blink is slower.cursor1

Because when you feel like you’ve got nothing right as a parent, you wonder why you even wanted to be one in the first place, you just need a vacation from those energy siphoning parasites. After they’ve been at each other’s throats all day, when one even goes so far as to bite, you know it’s time for a throw down. The gloves come off and heads will roll. You throw a Hail Mary in the final seconds and pray it works. You sit them side by side and you start yapping, hoping what you’re saying is both making sense and sinking in. Verbal diarrhoea. Suddenly you’re up to 502 words and kind of like what you’ve managed to come up with for not being able to think of anything to write. Suddenly it’s bedtime and you kind of like the sweet silence because it means you earned a reward for adulting; second dessert that you don’t have to share and a bottle of wine because you didn’t kill the kids today.

Congratulations on not killing the kids. Enjoy your reward to its fullest.