This blog began life as a chronicle of my attempt to write 12 books in 12 months back in Ye Olde Dayes of 2011 (7 years ago, woah there). These days it’s a far more sporadic account of what I’m reading and writing, and other loosely connected topics in that area. Generally speaking, I’ve tried to keep my personal life separate, except when there’s a clear connection (e.g. When Writers Move House). BUT, this year in particular, that has meant I’ve just not really updated very much.
Writing is a fundamental part of how I process things and respond to the world. I wrote bits and pieces about pregnancy as it happened to me, although I didn’t publish it anywhere because at the time I wanted to keep the experience for myself. I had reservations, I suppose, that if I wrote about it here I’d become a mummy blogger rather than a book blogger, and I wasn’t sure that was a transition I wanted to make. I’m still not, but now that I’m nearly eight weeks into this parenthood malarkey I’d like to put some of my experiences out into the world. Perhaps we’ll find that the two types of blogging aren’t mutually exclusive?
With that in mind, I’ve added a ‘parenting’ parent category to the blog, and am giving myself permission to write a bit about the experience of being knocked up and what comes next. At some point I might even rejig the banner image to reflect the change. I want to keep on writing as many stories as I can, but realistically fiction is going to be a bit of a slow burn until my kid is a little bit bigger and we’re in some sort of routine. To give an example of where we are just now, whereas normally a blog post of this length would take me an hour or two, I’ve written this one over the course of a week and a half and several baby naps, grabbing ten minutes here and there on my phone and laptop. Turns out new babies don’t really have a set pattern of when they’ll be awake, asleep, screaming, pooing, or demanding my services as a walking mammary – any of these things could happen at any time. This environment is fractured, and not completely conducive to getting immersed in story/quickly dashing off a witty post.
Still, over the next few weeks/months I’ll be doing my best to type up some of the thoughts I had between January and September 2018 on subjects such as Gestational Diabetes, baby names and the third trimester to share here. And after that you’ll probably see articles here and there about my experience of being a mum. And after that, with any luck we’ll begin to get into the routine other parents tell me will definitely emerge a few months in, and I’ll try and speak interestingly/helpfully about navigating writing stories alongside looking after a tiny human*. Writing about writing and writing being a parent? Surely it can’t be done? But I do love a writing challenge…
The thing is though, I don’t anticipate that becoming a parent will change how I feel about representation of minority voices in fiction, or how I respond to rejection, or privilege. I suspect I won’t stop being infuriated by Twitter storms about whether women have too many rights or when it’s appropriate to refer to them as deranged poetesses. The fact that my ovaries function as evolution intended for me as a hetero cis woman doesn’t mean I can now only write twee stories about babies going on adventures and outraged responses to anti vaxxers (although I am open to doing both).
What it will probably do is impact on my writing time for a while, meaning you won’t necessarily get my devastating hot take on every literary argument du jour. But let’s be honest, you weren’t getting that anyway. In fact, this is really just one in a long line of excuses, isn’t it?! Time-wise I don’t actually think I’ll be significantly worse off than a couple of years ago when commuting, extra work hours, and some other factors got a bit much and writing became really hard for me for a wee while. If anything this might be a bit of a reset button for me – doing something new and scary and challenging does give you a sense of perspective. It might help me hone in on what I want from life and writing. Plus I’ve got maternity leave so am technically juggling slightly less at the moment, although it doesn’t feel like it yet…
Apologies if you’ve been with me for a while and are not interested in this type of content, I guess. But it’s happening, and after all you don’t need to read it – that’s the joy of the internet! Hopefully you’ll still tune in for the periodic book reviews / rants about representation.
If not, that’s OK too.
*Well, not that tiny – my baby is pretty tall for a baby. He’s practically in school.