Friday, June 27, 2014

Your Unique Writing Life

My 19 month old son Fulton has some kind of a sensor in his brain that must tell him when I'm pooping. It doesn't matter when, where or how quietly I shut the door but no sooner do I, um, settle in, then I hear the machine gun pitter-patter of his feet followed a few moments later by a ferocious pounding on the door.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to stop shutting the door and that's why sometime yesterday I found myself in the following position. I was on the pot, my son had stuck a baseball glove on my hand, he'd found one for himself, and we started to play catch.

And I wasn't even finished.

A couple months ago the seven month old started screaming as I was heading for the bathroom for the far easier task of old number one. So I grabbed him up and continued on my merry way. I never did see that sneaky little bastard Fulton until it was too late. He crawled past me, stuck his head in the toilet and I peed right on his curly blonde hair.

At this point, you may be thinking about contacting child services. But bare with me. I'm a stay at home dad of eight kids, six of whom are boys. Not particularly well behaved boys either. Loud, rough, sneaky, clever and always challenging boys.

This is my life. Your life may look different. Maybe you're kids are grown or they are in school every day. Maybe you have all the time in the world to tap, tap, tap away at your keyboard. Maybe you're one of the people I think about and wonder, "How much freaking writing would I get done if I had their life?"

The assumption, of course, is that this mythical person out there has it easier than me or better and if only I had their "circumstances" then things would be easier for me: I'd be cranking out a novel per day. Bestselling novel no less. And not just International Best Seller because I would sell the shit out of Neptune.

Thing is, this is all a bunch of horse shit. My life is my life. The way in which my writing is unique and fun and something that somebody else cannot possibly reproduce is because my writing is informed by my life. My busy, crazy, loud, challenging (whatever) and unique life.

I play baseball with my toddler while pooping. Maybe you are a doctor or a delivery man or raise children or raze villages. I don't know. But I do know that peeking over the neighbor's fence and wishing for their life doesn't help but embracing your own life, with all its challenges, does.

Happy writing.


Leandra Wallace said...

I so laughed out loud at this post! And you have my major respect, stay at home dad of eight- whew! I also really like the name Fulton. (secretly writing it down for one day kid #2)

Daniel Kenney said...

Thanks Leandra! And thanks for the respect, but, and I sincerely mean this, I think everybody is busy and everybody has a hard job. I'm sure there is the occasional person who has a trust fund and blah, blah, blah, doesn't have to work...but I sure as hell haven't met them. Everybody is busy and the artist has to figure how to make her art anyway. And the being busy actually will probably help you make better art. And yes, we love Fulton too. Good luck! Dan