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We who are about to breed: Neal Pollack.

August 9, 2011 \am\31 10:01 am

[In which WWAATD asks writers and other artist types about life as breeders/parents/kid-keepers.]

Name: Neal Pollack

1.    What are your kids’ names, ages? 

Elijah, age 8.

2.    How do you balance your time between parenting and writing? 

It’s pretty easy now that he’s in school. If I can’t get my work done in the seven hours of daily free time allotted me, plus whatever nighttime writing I can carve out, that’s my problem, not my kid’s.

3.    What is the best piece of advice about being a parent and a writer? 

Don’t look at “writing” as some sort of holy thing that parenting interrupts. It’s work. Last time I checked, you either had to be extremely rich or extremely neglectful to stop working after you become a parent. Just do it and don’t worry too much about the consequences.

4.    How has your writing changed since becoming a parent? 

Well, at first it was spazzy and confused and all over the place, but of late it’s become more controlled and self-assured. Which is to say that parenting has grounded me in a way that no other experience could, and has helped me to sit my butt down and work until I found my true voice.

5.    Tell us something we don’t know about you and being a writer-slash-parent. 

My child has learned that you can still pay your bills even if some days you don’t get out of your pajamas until dinnertime. I don’t know if that’s a good lesson or not.

  1. August 9, 2011 \pm\31 12:29 pm 12:29 pm

    I agree. Things get easier as they get older. I think the problem is that a lot of us (well, me) opt for traditional jobs, then have kids, AND try to write and that’s when there are problems. I also have a kid with autism, so he requires a bit more than my older, neurotypical son. They are now 7 and 4 and I’m just finally getting back to regularly writing.

  2. August 9, 2011 \pm\31 1:34 pm 1:34 pm

    Wow, that sounds really challenging. Good luck with getting back into writing!

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