I used to think I would have to wait for my children to grow up a bit before thinking about becoming a writer, but now I realize I’m exactly where I need to be. Here’s why:
1. You will be desperate for a creative outlet
There are only so many lullabies you can sing and pretend cappuccinos you can sip before you start craving a use for your brain. Harness this hunger and write!
2. It’s the ideal set-up
If you were trying to write on weekends whilst working full-time, you might struggle to get yourself into the right frame of mind. If you took time off work to focus on your writing, you would have to face the unbearable pressure of producing something good and printable to validate your choice. When you’re a stay-at-home-parent, you have the luxury of writing for fun. If you ever get to the point of writing something print-worthy, that’s a bonus.
3. Writing time is precious
Let’s face it: If I had all day to write, I would probably spend it drinking tea, flipping through Facebook, re-organising my shoe collection and staring at a blank page. As a stay-at-home-parent, writing time alone is a rare treat for me. I try to make the most of every second, whether the words are flowing or not.
4. There is a never-ending supply of writer’s block cures
I find the best antidote for blank-page-syndrome is menial work. Doing something boring with my hands frees up my brain to explore ideas. Fortunately, being a stay-at-home-parent provides me with an endless supply of these cures. I’ve chewed over writing while I’m doing the dishes, shopping for sausages, pegging out washing, changing nappies and buttering piles of sandwiches.
It works wonders.
5. You will be provided with a perfect abundance of material
Can you tell there’s a squashed child under all those saucepans? Can you even tell they’re meant to be saucepans??
We all think we would write better if we could just go off to some cabin in the woods and be a hermit for a while. But I don’t think it really works that way. Apart from the obvious homicidal-mania-related side effects (haven’t you ever seen The Shining?), shutting yourself off from daily distraction would also mean shutting yourself off from a wealth of inspiration. If I didn’t spend the bulk of my time making colossal mistakes as a parent, I would have nothing to write about.
So there you have it. I know you think you don’t have time, but use what small pockets you can set aside. A lot of this can apply to other creative pursuits as well (just replace the word “writing” with “painting”/ “pottery”/ “international space-station design”)
What do you think? Have I missed anything? Am I totally off my rocker? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.