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We who are about to breed: Peter Davis.

August 18, 2011 \pm\31 12:00 pm

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

Name: Peter Davis

1.    What are your kids’ names, ages?

Maxwell Alan, 8 and Estella Jo, 4.

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

I wait till the kids are sleeping and then I write. There is no balance with children. They are clearly the heavier weight. And my wife helps a shitload.

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

Regarding parenting: It’s important that your kids know that your will is stronger than theirs. That if it’s a battle of wills, you will destroy them because you’re like a giant adult and they’re like just little tiny half-people. Also: positive reinforcement–it works!  As far as the duel role, parent is feudal king and writer is surf/peasant. You do what you can, but kids are more urgent than writing.

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

No, except that I feel like the stakes are higher because now I have kids who will read what I write someday. I better be setting a good example about how they should approach their own work.

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

My wife  works more in the summer to make up for me not teaching in summer. I’m home more. This summer, I taught Max to make breakfast for himself and Stella, which means I can sleep in some. All he has to do is use the toaster, get the plates, the drinks, and that’s about it. It’s so great. I stay up too late often and so to be able to sleep in some is always, always, really, really great. (For me, the worst part of being a parent is the way it interferes with sleep.)
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