I remember girls in college bragging about completing their homework, participating in activities, and how they were successful in everything.
That was my perception. I could not see inside their lives.
Although my time as a creative author is now limited, I know a good writer observes people.
You are like an investigator who knows how to read people and spot little details.
Maybe you do not spot the little details in your everyday life. Laundry piles up. Your children’s rooms are never really picked up. You tell yourself they’re clean; just not picked up and they have a train to make for Monday. If you’re working, you’re wondering where is the break over the weekend only to realize the week is your break from home.
When do you write?
Anytime you can.
What do you write?
What inspires you.
Some mom writers escape into the jungles of their imaginations where they are still children. Those are the women I relate to most; the women who know they cannot complete everything perfectly. The women who know being a mommy is good, but it is a lot of work. They’re not afraid to admit it.
But they also have something to talk about, and the conversation is produced from their fingers and keyboard.
The last time I worked on my work was two weekends ago. I prepared an Elliot McSwean story for submission. The 10-year-old boy in my story has a mother who is a preschool teacher. She relates to her three daughters, but cannot grasp why her only son refuses to stay out of other people’s business.
That is a different perspective for me. During childhood little boys, sling shots and water guns filled my neighborhood. For two streets I was the only girl. I grew up to favor boys because I did not like or understand girls my age. (That has changed.) When I worked as an after school assistant teacher, several of my boys wanted someone to throw a football with them. In college I found out I had a decent arm and could catch. I also played a lot of Frisbee.
To have a curious boy of my own is no big surprise.
As a writer I tend to choose very real subjects. I cannot tell you why. In Elliot McSwean and my other stories I compose different relationships between parents, children, and siblings. One story I am write about a mother who tries everything she can to make it to her son’s soccer game on time after being delayed by an ignorant hostess and other challenges on her drive. Will she make it to the game on time after missing his last three games?
Even though I have not written creatively for two weeks, I watch people and think of new situations and new stories. I am always thinking of what a little boy might do next to embarrass his mother like opening the bathroom stall before she is finished and because he is ready to leave. (That has not happened to me just yet.)
A lot of other parent writers walk in similar shoes. They must work, go to school, and take their children to school. What gets us through the days and nights is a child’s imagination.
By Rebecca T. Dickinson