Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Should You Write About Your Kids?

I don’t have to wrestle with this one (no children), but I know that plenty of writers do. It’s a tough question: Do you write about your kids? Whatever you want? No matter how old they are? In this age of material-can-be-googled-forever-on-the-internet? Carolyn Parkhurst explored the question on the blog here, and now Emily Bazelon tackles the question in this excellent piece on Slate magazine: “Is This Tantrum on the Record?”

Here’s a sample:

“When I write about my kids, I'm not only thinking as their mother. I'm also thinking as a professional writer. Those two identities don't always align—they just don't. I like to think that when there's tension, I err on the side of protecting my kids' interests, steering clear of any material that's too embarrassing or private. But I don't trust myself to be the arbiter. My husband vets my pieces when our kids appear in them, and he objects when he thinks I'm exposing one of their faults. (He hacked away at this piece about our younger son's nail-biting habit and now reminds me of this news flash: The nails are in recovery.)”


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.