How to Be a Writing Parent, In 13 Bazillion Easy Steps

1) Check to see that the kids are occupied elsewhere. All good? That’s what you think, but we’ll go with that.

2) Grab the headphones and fire up the laptop.

3) Write half a sentence. Answer the first knock on the bedroom door.

4) Pick the movie for movie night out of a stack of thirty DVDs that the 10-year-old has brought in and dumped on your bed.

5) Write three really fast sentences while the 12-year-old is playing with your toes and asking rapid-fire questions about why you don’t like your feet touched.

6) Write five more sentences while the 12-year-old and 15-year-old are playing a weird game on your bedroom floor where one of them lies face-down and the other one hauls on the arms to induce vertigo. Notice that vertigo is an incredibly loud syndrome.

7) Write two more sentences while the 12-year-old and 10-year-old sit on the couch in the next room and berate each other for wiggling. Notice that wiggling also has incredibly loud symptoms.

8) Give up and go watch a movie with the kids.

9) Shush the kids 50 times in 20 minutes.

10) Drink wine and wonder if you will ever put an entire coherent thought together again in your life.

11) Sneak into your room during their mid-show bathroom break and write two and a half more sentences.

12) Shush the kids, answer plot questions, deal with the 12-year-old’s complaints about Alan Rickman using a cutting sword incorrectly to stab Kevin Costner, say goodnight. Wonder how they got to be such nerds when they’re essentially feral.

13) Plan to write a bit now that the house is quiet; instead, fall asleep sitting upright with your laptop on your knee.