Tuesday 12 July 2011

How did you write a book with a newborn baby...?

Teach it to type! ha ha!

Well, the answer to this question is... ON MY KNEES. It can be done, fellow fecund fictionist, but you might suffer a transformation into an old, haggard woman.

Seriously a little while back, with baby 3 and book 5 to deliver at the same time, whilst counting my lucky stars to be in this predicament, I did wonder how the hell I was going to do it.

Here's the Ally Kennen guide to losing your teeth, your muscle tone and your mind. (Forever)

STEP ZERO: Only have babies with a man who can cook, remember to buy toilet roll, put older children to bed and iron his own bloody shirts. If all females insisted on these qualities, sub-functional men would be bred out of the human race very fast.

STEP ONE: At 36 weeks pre-natal ask/beg for an extension (the publisher that is, a sixty week gestation is never going to be pretty) Don't most working women get maternity leave? Can't we?

STEP TWO: Write as much of the book as you can in bed (you can fool any other children that you are playing at potholing under the duvet)

STEP THREE: Give birth by whatever means possible. (I tried to outsource this step but was unsuccessful)

STEP FOUR: Regret Extension as you now have to write a book with a tiny weeny human gurning at you all day and all night and demanding sustenance.

STEP FIVE: Feed baby to sleep, lean over, turn on laptop. Write.

STEP SIX: Repeat step five every two/ three hours in first month, and every bloody four hours in 2nd and 3rd months


STEP SEVEN: Take baby and any other small children for drive. As soon as they fall asleep (it may take hours), pull over, whip out lap top and WRITE. Do this often. Do not kill anyone who knocks on window to ask 'if you are all right' thus waking children...

STEP EIGHT: Buy expensive Breast feeding baby sling, master art of loading dishwasher whilst feeding child, then start typing with chicken elbows with baby in situ. Feel like master of universe.

STEP NINE: Worry that radiation from computer is damaging weeny developing brain. No longer have baby on lap whilst writing

STEP TEN: Place your light sleeper on shoulder, head well away from harmful rays (maybe protected with cardboard hat made from cornflakes packet) and learn to type book with ONE HAND.

STEP ELEVEN: Whilst out walking with buggy, dream of typing machine that fits over handles, you could type with your thumbs whilst strolling in the park/on the school run/ going to buy toilet roll (no man is perfect)

STEP TWELVE: Cease all superfluous activities like: haircuts/cutting nails/answering emails/shopping/baths/lengthy showers (ie more than 3 minutes)/answering the phone/booking dentist appointments/exercise/TV/washing floor going out... .... ...etc etc

STEP TWELVE POINT FIVE. You MUST do online food shopping.

STEP TWELVE POINT SIX: Convince yourself that ceebeebies is really quite good and is teaching your other children vital life skills.

STEP THIRTEEN. Become a creature of the night. When at last everyone is asleep, creep to the nearest window sill as silently as possible, power on laptop, put curtains behind back, and write in darkness for as long as you possibly can. Remember at 1 am when you are so tired your skin is crawling, that everything is always brighter in the morning !

STEP FOURTEEN. Learn to function in the land of the living dead. Be Vague. Shorten sentences you utter before you forget the endings, Survive on pasta, cheese and apples and get used to the funny looks people give you when you try to converse. Don't worry about making sense, being able to count, reverse down narrow country lanes, or contradicting yourself in the same breath.

STEP FIFTEEN: Deliver book....then run around house screaming (holding surprised baby)

There we are girls, easy -peasy huh! Who was it said a pram in the hall was the 'something derogatory' of creativity? Was it herself, Vag Woolf? or someone else? Anyway what nonsense.

With my indispensible guide, any gal can nurse a newborn and pen THAT book.

Good luck!


The Mule said...

hilarious. i've been struggling to write a blog with two small children so i'm pretty impressed you managed a whole book.
i especially like the idea that we could collectively 'breed out' incompetent and unsupportive males. this would be helpful to ALL women, not just writers! a campaign needed here i think!
good luck with it all xxx

Ally said...

thank you! keep go-ing.....will come and check out your blog

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm currently attempting to write a book with a newborn who insists on napping on me....

Becky turner said...

Good artcile. but it would be better if in future you can share more about this subject. Keep posting.
My newborn baby

Becky turner said...

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Newborn baby care