How can you write with the kids around?


A little boy’s voice calls out, “Daddy, come play Legos with me.”

A little girl grabs your leg and bats her eyes, saying, “Daddy, hold me.”

How could anyone write with such loving kids around?

It makes you feel guilty to go be a hermit in the office when the kids want nothing more than to sit on your lap and play. And you feel guilty when you think about the future, when you will no longer be their hero. So you don’t write.

Or do you?

What if you could write and spend time with your kids?

What if you could do both at the same time?

It is possible. There’s a simple device called a recorder (tape, mp3, … 8-track?). At bedtime, tell your kids the story you are about to write—adding all necessary sound effects—while recording yourself.

Then pat yourself on the back for being a caring, thoughtful parent.

Once the kids are finally asleep (after drinking another sippy, asking for a snack, and peeing yet again), listen to your story bit by bit, typing what you said and making sense of it all. It’s fine to edit, to add or delete anything you told the kids.

The next night, tell them the edited version of the story. If your kids are young enough, they will love to hear it again. And they can be a good trial audience, too. Find out if they think it’s funny. Writing for them can change your tone from essay-ish to lively-ish.

Remember to add the sound effects!


4 thoughts on “How can you write with the kids around?

  1. As a parent I admit this is an interesting post, but I can’t imagine my little one enjoying a crime/mystery story without extreme alterations. I set aside a specific time of day to write, and the kid knows that is my “alone” time. 🙂

    • Yeah, I suppose it would be hard to make crime/mystery like that. But I like your idea of having set alone time–it’s important for your child to know that.

  2. Pingback: How can you write with the kids around? Part 2 | Daniel F. Bowman

  3. Pingback: How can you write with the kids around? Part 3 | Daniel F. Bowman

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