Because we wake up and take care of the kids and then we go to bed. That\’s, like, it.
Okay, not really. There are moments of respite and we put our kids to bed fairly early so there is that window at the end of the day to do what we like. That\’s hardly enough to write the amount of words I want to write and make the books I want to make, though. I also find that I write and work better in the morning, but that time is all but sapped when the baby\’s woken me up a few hours earlier and/or is hungry for a bottle during writing time.
And so I have become a Time Scavenger. When there are 10 minutes to write, I write. Should I find a short window of relative calm, I fire up the lappy and pound out a few sentences. The challenge here is engagement: can I block out the noise and focus, even if it\’s only for several minutes? It helps that the current project, a mashup of Ehdrigohr and Dungeon World, has really taken my interest. After a second or two I am zapped in the zone, writing moves and converting classes with abandon, until one of two things happen.
1) I am stricken by the sudden guilt of not doing something that should be done around the house. This, thankfully, proves false most times. My wife is awesome and handles our shit like a boss.
2) Somebody needs me. This is the inescapable vortex of my season of life. People need me. Now, I\’ve been married for 10 years and I work with children. I\’m used to being needed. But the sheer depth and intensity of the needs of small children is an energy vacuum. Because they don\’t just need food and shelter, they need love and boundaries and correction and attention and engagement and so very much more.
How does one find the impetus to create when so much is being siphoned off by parenting? Thankfully these two pools are separate pools. I also find that faith factors in. I will write what I need to write when I need to write it, whether little people clamber for my every waking hour or otherwise. Whether or not you are a person of belief, this kind of kismet, conscious or unconscious, becomes endemic in the suspension of parenthood. Things are just going to happen. We take control when we can, but the lack of sleep, the general exhaustion and malaise of having young children, means the chips sometimes fall where they may.
And I\’m really okay with that as a writer.
There is something mystical or even magical about making things. From my perspective, and that of many other Christian artists, we are engaging in the act that most defines the character of God: creator. To put it another way: