Thursday, October 16, 2008

Writing that never comes

Elizabeth Jolley could never settle into her writing late at night until she was assured that the family was settled, the chores were done and all was well in her small world. I have a similar sense, I cannot settle when I am preoccupied with some earthly concern generally to do with the psychological (more often the psychological than the physical health) of one of my children or Bill. If someone out there is brawling, or deeply unhappy or entangled in the vagaries of a tortured love affair, which seems to be the case at the moment for fourteen-year-old Ella, then I cannot settle into my writing.


Damon Young said...

I don't think you're alone there. Have you come across Rachel Power's The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood?

For anyone who juggles parenthood and creativity (and this includes some academic work), the latter can seem like a luxury; a superfluous afterthought squeezed in between family spats and cooking.

But most of the women interviewed seem to agree: they're better mothers, better people, when they've worked on their book/thesis/painting/knitting/mystery work.

Elisabeth said...

I've seen your references to Rachel Power's book, Damon, and I've been intending to get a copy, but as ever I've put it off. With your prompting here now, I'll go and get it. Thanks for the reminder.