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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How do I write with the kids around?

I have a friend who is a playwright. He would like more time to write but finds he can't do it in anything but absolute silence and therefore, with three kids, it just doesn't happen. He wanted to know how I could possibly be productive with 3 kids around.

Here's the thing. I have ADD. I'm not just saying this lightly. I do have it. I'm also dyslexic. All of this was diagnosed when I was in 3rd grade. (Many, many moons ago...) I've never been medicated and for the most part I keep it under control.


I am always doing three things at once, even if you don't know that I am. Sitting at dinner having a conversation with me? I'm talking to you and writing my next book in my head. You'll really have no idea its going on. I might also, at the same time, be compiling a grocery list or thinking about the last episode of Lost.

If my children are running around making noise, it actually enables me to write better. The part of my brain that is forever 'on' and needs distraction has something else to do as it listens to DS#1 explain to DS#2 why Curious George is a great monkey and I can write my story. If you left me in a quiet house to do it, I will talk on the phone, check my e-mail go get lunch, anything for another thing to do at the same time.

I realize this seems odd to a lot of people for whom this would be really, really difficult. But for me, it's the only way to function.

How do you write?


  1. I learned to work around the noise of kids too. Not very productive as in silence but it needs to be done.
    I know what you mean about the conversation and writing the book in your head at the same time. I'm always doing that, and no, don't have ADD though that's never been checked (wonder if they even know what ADD is in Mauritius!).
    So they love Curious George too at your place? Mine are die-hard fans!

  2. Z--They LOVE Curious George. They know which episode it is based on the first line of the cartoon. LOL!! Thank you for coming by. Glad you can write with noise too!! Thought maybe I was the only one!

  3. Wow, Rebecca! You are talented! LOL! I don't need silence - as a matter of fact, I work best when the TV is on in the background, or when I'm at Starbucks with noise and music. But it's very hard for me to write when my daughter is awake. She's 6-months-old and I tend to feel guilty if I'm not playing with her. I tend to do house chores during this time as I can play peek-a-boo and do the dishes simultaneously. Writing and playing peek-a-boo just wouldn't work for me. LOL!

  4. My youngest is 9 months old. I feel your pain on that issue. I *can* write with the kids around. I certainly do feel guilty about it. But, thats a whole other blog. LOL!!

  5. Wow, Rebecca, your house sounds like mine. I have three kids myself...and while I don't have ADD I am dyslexic too but find I can't write if I don't have something else on, whether it's the radio or tv...or three bickering kids needing to be broke up every ten minutes. (I'll be so glad when school starts back up.)

  6. Dakota--I have them in camp. LOL!!! But the baby is home with me all day. The TV is the one thing I can't have on. I will zone out and watch the TV. LOL

  7. I've trained myself to write anywhere. I had to because I'd never get anyting done. My favorite is myy local coffee shop.