Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Louise Erdrich Quote #2

And now the second quote...about being a writer and having children.  As there are so few instances of women talking about being artists and mothers, and as I am nearly 8 months pregnant with my second child, I am very interested in any meditation on the link between making art and motherhood.
"By having children, I've both sabotaged and saved myself as a writer. [...] With a child you certainly can't be a Bruce Chatwin or a Hemingway, living the adventurer-writer life. No running with the bulls at Pamplona. If you value your relationships with your children, you can't write about them. You have to make up other, less convincing children. There is also one's inclination to be charming instead of presenting a grittier truth about the world. But then, having children has also made me this particular writer. Without my children, I'd have written with less fervor; I wouldn't understand life in the same way. I'd write fewer comic scenes, which are the most challenging. I'd probably have become obsessively self-absorbed, or slacked off. Maybe I'd have become an alcoholic. Many of the writers I love most were alcoholics. I've made my choice, I sometimes think: Wonderful children instead of hard liquor."

1 comment:

Ellen Campbell said...

I thought of you when I read this...I am glad it resonated.