We who are about to breed: Greg Olear
[In which WWAATD asks writers and other artist types about life as breeders/parents/kid-keepers.]
NAME: Greg Olear.
1. What are your kids’ names, ages?
Prudence just turned five, and Dominick will be seven on Christmas Day.
2. How do you balance your time between parenting and writing?
You used the word “balance.”
But seriously, I’m the sort of writer who works better with some distraction. If I were holed up for the summer at some writer’s retreat, I would spend most of that time on Facebook. It’s counter-intuitive, but because the kids occupy so much time and energy, it makes me much more productive with the time I do have.
It also helps that my last book was about being a stay-at-home dad. Whatever frustrations I was feeling on any given day went right into the book.
3. What is the best piece of advice about being a parent and a writer?
Don’t beat yourself up too much. Unless you’re a masochist, in which case, go crazy.
4. How has your writing changed since becoming a parent?
I’m much more informed than I was before. Writing is not just about the technical aspects of craft; it’s about knowing which experiences are worth writing about and which are not. I now have so much more to draw from. There’s no way I could have written a novel about a stay-at-home dad if I were still single and living in theEast Village.
5. Tell us something we don’t know about you and being a writer-slash-parent.
I have a blog that I recently launched, Fathermucker: The Blog, where guest essayists write about their parenting experiences. You should check it out!