This is part 2 of possibly 2. Last week I talked about the benefits of writing with children. Today, I discuss the flip-side and make all of the non-parent writers breathe a sigh of relief that they don’t have to deal with this. To make this authentic, I’m writing this while my son screams and cries a few feet away. He refuses dinner and demands a cupcake? Then he goes to bed hungry. Seriously, he only wants to eat cupcakes these days.
- Ink Reloads– The new ink cartridges for children are very expensive. When you’re done writing with a child and they’re out of ink, it’s better to throw them out and buy a new one.
- Squirming– The little guys and gals do not stay still when you’re writing. Everything comes out like drunken cursive.
- Can’t Fit in Pocket– They aren’t the most portable things when you need to write on the go. The notepad models run away and the pen models leak all over the place.
What? Wrong type of writing with children? Fine.
- Theft– Children want what you have. This ranges from your notebook to your laptop to that Chinese hot pepper on your plate (raises hand in guilt). If you leave your notebook and pen in reach, you’re coming back to doodles. My son once got his hands on the manuscript for Family of the Tri-Rune. I found drawings on the reverse side of ten pages. I’m lucky that he knows not to draw on something with words on it, but you are probably not that lucky.
- Caterwauling– Children scream, cry, yell, and make noise. Try writing a romance scene with a tantrum erupting a few feet away. Try writing this blog post with an epic screaming fit in the next room that includes a bathtub full of water. Glad that bathroom can only fit one adult and he told me to get out. Anyway, your focus is going to be shattering and splintered on a routine basis. Accept this as part of the payoff for having sex.
- Editing!– Leave your laptop unattended when you need a drink, some food, or the bathroom. Remember to save before leaving because you’re about to return to aeaihfdoiafeaubvaejneateahufoaeyfaui. Little fingers will find your laptop and add their own twist to your manuscript.
- Imitation Distraction– Occasionally, your child might want to set up something that looks like a computer. They’ll take the seat next to you or across from you. Then they start typing away or playing the keyboard if that’s what they think you’re doing. It’s an adorable event that will suck away an hour before you realize it. They use their cuteness to full effectiveness.
- Stealing Snacks– A writer needs a drink and a snack on hand in case they start running out of energy. Children love drinks and snacks. They will get your drinks and snacks. If you hide it, they will simply wait for you to reveal the location. They’re natural scavengers that cannot be tamed.