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We who are about to breed: Nicole Arciello Berhaupt.

September 8, 2011 \am\30 10:09 am

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

Name: Nicole Arciello Berhaupt

1. What is your kid’s name, age? 

Daughter in the wonder years.

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

I try to write when she is not home, when she is in school or when I can keep her busy with something like the Wii or computer for an hour or so, remember bribery always works. Summers are more difficult, so I get up early or stay up late. I also home school her half days in the summer so when I give her independent work, I do some of mine too.

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

Always carry a journal and pen (or cell phone) so you can write things down when you can’t sit at your computer or be in your office. It will save you alot of aggravation and feelings of resentment towards your whole family. I keep a journal in almost every room of the house and in the car, then I never miss the chance to jot down a line or an idea. And always remember that if you are only a writer (with no other job) you are freaking lucky and get to be home with your kids and watch them grow up. Take yourself seriously as a writer and they will too no matter what the age. How can they not take you seriously when you walk around the house with a pen behind your ear and journals, post-its and note pads everywhere!

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

I slowed down, after she was born. I continued to read a lot and still jotted down things. I continued writing poetry when she was an infant, that is the easy time, they don’t do much, so there is more time. When they get on their feet, there is no hope and you are sleep deprived, so I totally slowed down after that. Now it is much easier, I do have to keep reminding everyone that I am working still sometimes.

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

I read Stephen King’s book On Writing out loud to my daughter when she was an newborn (like second day home from the hospital). I never stopped reading to her. I read the classics to her even now.


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