Thursday, December 18, 2008

Damon's Literary Space

I'm a guest today on Literary Minded, the ever-intriguing blog of Angela Meyer, on Crikey.com. 

It's part of a series called 'Literary Spaces', which reveals the fascinating world of writer's rooms.

It was written before Sophia's birth, and before Nikos' inexplicable nausea last night.  So you have to add the smell of baby poo and toddler vomit to the pretty picture.

5 comments:

Kirsty Murray said...

I was going to ask where is the Lego but then read your 'Literary Minded' post. It all looks so orderly, grown-up and thought provoking.

Damon said...

I've always wanted to be grown-up.

(It was either an orderly study, or pipe-smoking. And the bubbles from my pipe hurt my eyes.)

Rachael King said...

Damon, people are always asking women how they fit writing around children, so I'm going to ask you. Do you work from home? How do you juggle homelife and work?

Damon said...

I do work from home, yes. (And in cafes!)

For the last three years (since NIkos' birth), Ruth and I have tried to collaborate. We both work part-time, and have equal share in kid-wrangling, domestic chores, and other incidentals.

And, obviously, this is flexible: it depends on who has meetings, deadlines, illness, and all the other 'stuff'.

Often, work is opportunistic: if NIkos is asleep, I'll frantically get the notebook and pen; or he and I will run an errand, and Ruth'll quickly fire up the computer.

We've also been assisted by Ruth's mum, who comes twice a week. We've both tried to work on those days for at least a few hours. She's been wonderful. There's no way we could afford childcare, so this has been enormously helpful.

Now we have little Sophia, things will be a little more complicated. But we're committed to doing this collaboratively: both child-raising, both working. So we'll just have to juggle a bit more.

Of course, this often doesn't work. Sickness, bad luck, exhaustion, and all the other human frailties can intervene. We don't have the chance to specialise, like full-time workers, or parents. We often get nothing done, domestically or professionally. But we try to keep talking, keep trying, keep the good will alive. It really is a labour of love.

If you're interested in some other reflections on kids and creativity, I wrote a little piece for the Age about it: http://www.theage.com.au/news/books/driven-by-distraction/2008/07/03/1214950947979.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

Feel free to keep asking questions, if this hasn't cleared it up.

Pru Morrison said...

My obligationans are different to yours but oddly similar, some 'great'posts.. cheers