Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Slices of life

Life has been a little hectic in the Blithe household between pupil-free days, childhood fevers, coughs and middle of the night disturbances, various meetings, paperwork for the extension and just the everyday rush of a household. You may have noticed the abbreviated late night postings. Not much writing has been done and to be honest, not a lot of thinking either.

One thing that has been on my mind has been an interview I read in the Weekend Australian of multiple Man Booker prize nominee Anita Desai and her daughter, Kiran, who won the prize last year. I was fascinated by Anita’s description of how she trained herself only to write when her children were not at home. As soon as they went to school she started writing and it was all put away by the time they got home in the afternoon. During school holidays her work was put away entirely. Her perspective was that “They hated seeing my manuscripts or published books. They would be upset if they saw my name in book reviews. They thought that if you are a mother, that is all you should be. They had to grow up before they could bear it.”

Kiran’s perspective is illuminating. She felt that “My mother’s books appeared as if by magic. She kept her writing very private – we barely knew she was doing it…I was completely unconscious as a child of how hard it was for her to produce her work.”

I appreciate these slices of other people’s lives. They show that the world over, you either write or you don’t. If it is important to you, then it is something you do, whatever it takes. If this book is really something that I want to do, then I will find a way to do it in spite of, or perhaps because of all the other things in my life. On that note, I’d better do something about dinner.

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