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We who are about to breed: Christopher Kennedy.

September 19, 2011 \am\30 11:00 am
[In which WWAATD asks writers and other artist types about life as breeders/parents/kid-keepers.]

Name: Christopher Kennedy

1. What are your kids’ names, ages?

I have a daughter (Tessa) and a stepdaughter (Margeaux). My stepdaughter was 2-1/2 when I met her. I met my daughter eight years later just as she was arriving.

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

I need to answer this in the past tense. I slept little, sneaked out of work to attend soccer games, wrote notes on scraps of paper to type up later, wrote late at night or early in the morning. I thought a lot about Ray Carver and his early writing life, how he wrote short things because that was all the time he had to write.

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

Don’t feel guilty when you’re writing. You’re not taking time away from your child(ren); you’re setting an example for them of the love of literature and the importance of personal expression.

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

I began to take my writing more seriously. I wanted my daughters to see how writing could transform a person’s life. We had no money. I worked several jobs. Writing saved my life. I wanted them to know that fact.

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

Being a parent made being a writer more important.

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