Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘writing and motherhood’

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“The Mommy Problem,” and the Larger Notion of Life Beyond Work

From the Archives: “Work can be your life, but your life can (and I’d argue, should be) bigger than your work”: Danielle Lazarin on writing, motherhood, and how the things in our lives that we give ourselves permission to experience that aren’t writing might in the end offer us new perspectives on both writing and our selves.

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Picture books for writers (and their kids)

For a while now, I’ve been concerned about raising a kid who loves to read. Evidently I am not the only one, as shown by the BabyLit series of board books featuring Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Eyre. These books bill themselves as “counting primers”—the “Little Miss Austen” version of Pride and Prejudice includes pages like “2 rich gentlemen” and “3 houses” (that would be Longbourne, Netherfield, and Pemberly)—but they’re clearly intended to introduce at least the elements of these classics to young children. The forthcoming Little Miss Bronte: Jane Eyre features quotes from the novel, like […]

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The child as writing aid

I used to say that in order to get any writing done, I should hire someone to stand behind me with a stick and hit me on the head anytime I wasn’t working. I imagined someone along the lines of The Rock, or at least Queen Latifah, who embodied just such a character (more or less) in Stranger Than Fiction—a sweet movie despite its amazingly unrealistic portrayal of the writing life. “Motivator” might have been a good job title. Well, now I have a Motivator, but he doesn’t look anything like I expected. Trying to write while taking care of […]

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"The Mommy Problem," and the larger notion of life beyond work

Over at The Millions, Sonya Chung’s essay “The Mommy Problem” throws more questions at a question I’m still trying to answer. I, too, have indulged in her habit of close-reading women writers’ biographies for suggestions of children and clues as to their familial satisfaction to productivity ratio. While the argument over how writers should spend their time, money, and reproductive organs is endless, and as Chung points out, ultimately individual and unanswerable even through close examination of the examples we have, the question of how acceptable or manageable it is to be a writer-slash—whether that slash is a parent, a […]