10 Reasons Why Being A Writer is Like Being A Parent

Today is my son’s 2nd birthday. Even though I’ve written this in advance, trust me when I say, I cannot believe that two years has passed. Time has always seemed to fly by, but its at moments like this that I really get shocked at just how much has slipped through my fingers without me being mindful. I look at him with his curls bouncing under 3 feet of body, yeah – he’s already over half my height!  I still wonder where on earth he came from, and how he can have been inside my tummy and yet, in two short years, talks and giggles and poops like a machine!

It got me thinking about just how similar being a parent is to being a writer. Here’s why:

ONE

I love my son unconditionally – even when he’s been naughty.

I love my WIP unconditionally – even when it’s been naughty and won’t finish a scene or keeps changing things

TWO

My son is extremely unpredictable – apparently he already has a mind of his own

My WIP is extremely unpredictable – it is prone to change its mind suddenly, adding an unexpected twist or killing off an entire character mid scene

THREE

My son drives me to insanity – when he doesn’t know the right words to tell me whats wrong

My WIP drives me to insanity – constantly when it halts suddenly in the middle of a scene and refuses to tell me how it ends and all I can do is sit and wait patiently until it decides to play ball

FOUR

My son exhausts me – keeping me up in the middle of the night

My WIP exhausts me – keeping me up in the middle of the night either writing it, or waking me up having thought of ideas

FIVE

I am extremely proud of my son – every time he does something new or smiles, or breathes for that matter!

I am extremely proud of my WIP – writing novels is hard work, and I am really proud to say that I amongst my crazy life I still find time to write actual novels

SIX

My son costs a shit load of money!

My WIP costs a shit load of money – I buy software and dozens of ‘how to write books’ thinking it will help me write better, not to mention the obsessive notebook collection I have going or the expensive research field trips!

SEVEN

My son makes me repeat myself constantly – ‘eat with your mouth closed, it’s YES not yeah, don’t pull the cats ear…’

My WIP makes me repeat myself constantly – remember those pesky crutch words I spoke about? in the secret to the quickest edit you can do? There are just some words that I can’t help but repeat!

EIGHT

My son makes me shout at him – when he’s been very very naughty like when I picked him up from the childminder the other day and he bonked another kid on the head and then tried to bite his leg!

My WIP makes me shout at it – in frustration when it won’t play ball or it made me write something silly AGAIN, or tricked me and made me rewrite a chapter for the 5th time.

NINE

My son needs a lot of attention – he needs love, and kindness and story time.

My WIP needs a lot of attention – spent tapping away mindlessly at the keyboard, or hours researching or editing.

TEN

My son is a cause for celebration – the first time he walked, his first word… hopefully his first poo on a potty!

My WIP is a cause for celebration – and toasting the end of the first draft – the end of the first edit… hopefully one day…publication?!

If you’re a parent – how does your WIP compare to parenthood? Or if you’re not a parent – what does your WIP do to you?

This marks the last day of NaNo – if you participated – did you win? Was your target 50K? 

Next week, because NaNo is over I’m back to normal posts deconstructing the writing process see you then 🙂

58 comments

  1. I can’t believe how time flies, enjoy these times Sacha because before you know it your eldest is turning twenty this year and your youngest is sixteen! Very strange to think that soon my eldest will be out of her teen years! I enjoyed your post and yes there are definitely similarities to the effort involved in parenthood and writing! My MS is causing me much grief at the moment as I am editing it preparing it for publishing, after receiving a wonderful illuminating critique from an author’s advisory agency.

    1. Hey Marje me neither, it has literally flown by. I bet you still see your children as your babies too – that’s the horrifying thing to me – my baby is a toddler.

      Ahh yes I remember you saying you went for a critique its good to hear it is worth it :D. So exciting preparing for publishing, I can’t wait to get there.

  2. Very true

    11 And later you can never stop worrying about them, even when there is nothing more you can do.

    Will they get the university place they wanted, job they wanted, etc

    Will it get good reviews, will people buy it etc

  3. Really enjoyed this. Ever so funny. By the way, I have a similarly themed guest post (already written and sent off to the blog) coming out next Monday! Great minds, I guess!

  4. My gorgeous girl just turned nine and I cannot believe it, so I totally relate – time flies! And as to my WIP being like her, I would say that it is both unpredictable, and a great source of joy. Hope you get back to normal next week xx

  5. This covers it pretty well. Mostly neither of them listen. Although leaving both unchecked tends to result in destruction or some kind of mischief. Worried when the characters and the kid are quiet. Kind of a sibling rivalry if I’m trying to work and he’s home wanting attention.

  6. Sacha, Happy Birthday to your son! Only two and I know what you mean, those two years seemed to fly by with my son. Then the next thirteen disappeared in a blink too and my ‘little’ boy now towers over and is taking some GCSEs this year. I stop and wonder, how is this possible and when did that happen? Just treasure every moment. I loved your comparison between child and WIP, very well done and actually so true.

  7. I’ve thought this a few times myself. The gestation cycle was almost the same in my case. Trimester 1 (First draft) – Am I really going to ever publish this? Puke risk is high. Trimester 2 (Critiques & Re-writes): Your writing voice is starting to show. You’ve heard your story’s heartbeat. You start agonizing over titles. Friends now understand why you’ve missed coffee dates and wine tastings. Third Trimester (Final edits): Oh good lord, why aren’t you published yet! Your story feels fat and bloated in its word count and its kicks are keeping you up at night. But soon. Soon, you might just get to hold your finished product in your hands.

  8. Great post & happy birthday to your son. My children are 18 & 21 and I have 6 published novels. I’d like to add one more to your list. The terrifying day you have to let them go into the big wide world unsupervised. Enjoy your time with your son but I’m waiting for the day you hit the published button.

  9. Loved this! Happy 2nd birthday to your son, it’s such a magical time when they’re little. I’m at the lucky stage where being a writer and being a parent coexist. I write young adult and have three young adults under my roof – yay! I’ve got writing a stroppy and sarcastic exchange down to a fine art ha ha! 😉

  10. The warmth one feels watching ones child develop through life. That little girl who found reading writing and documenting from a tender age of 3 and a bit,is now mummy and writer, so proud to read such wonderful comments left by fellow writers when I know you juggle life to fulfil your writing passion….Keep going beautiful daughter, were ALL waiting for the first publication.

  11. Reblogged this on sherriemiranda1 and commented:
    I am not a parent, but this post tells exactly why. If I had been a parent, I wouldn’t have had the time or energy to write and publish my FIRST novel, let alone the next two or three I have on the back burner.
    Congrats to all you parents that managed to bring up a child (or two) and write a book (or two)! You deserve lots of accolades! 😉 <3
    Peace, love & lots of time for writing to all,
    Sherrie

  12. Hi Sacha. I’ve had to laugh a few times while reading this, and have a few comments on it. Two – a two-year-old does have a mind of his/her own. At this age they learn so rapidly and like to try out everything they have learned. This gives them a new freedom – the freedom to choose what they eat, what they want or don’t want to do. They have a new power.
    Three – You drive your son to insanity when YOU don’t understand what he is trying to say.
    Six -yep they do. Besides the necessities, there are all the toys, gadgets, and the like that you just know he would love to have, and it is so much fun to indulge him.
    Eight – Naughty? Maybe, or maybe he was acting out his frustrations on the other child. Perhaps the other child took a toy from him, bumped into him, or laughed at him.
    Nine – Yes, they do need a lot of attention, and they thrive when they know they are the object of your love.
    Ten – I wish you a lifetime of celebrations.

  13. I agree with everything you say! I’d even say that as time goes by, there’s more time, love and attention poured on books than children. Now that mine have grown up and left home my books are still with me!

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