There may be a lot more overlap between parenting and writing than I’ve stopped to consider. I’m sure there are people way more qualified (more books, more kids) than me to draw the comparison. But recent experience with potty training made me realize something of huge import to both processes; sitting in the chair.
Butt in chair, is a piece of writing advice I’ve heard often enough that I have no idea whom to credit with coining the phrase or making it famous. It is the ultimate truth about writing, the most obvious but unavoidable truth. It is the answer to all those people who ask you, “How do you find the time?” Butt in chair is what separates people who write books from people who talk about writing a book. Perhaps more than talent or other circumstances. Butt in chair is a great equalizer.
My daughter is experimenting with using the potty. She loves the praise she gets even for trying but what she really lacks at this point is the focus and desire to sit down and get the job done consistently. Too often she’s distracted by flushing the big potty, reading a book, a wayward toy left by the tub, or just a glimmer of sunlight in the window. She hops up, declares she’s all done and is on to the next task. I’m not worried. I know that when she’s ready, she’ll commit.
When she’s ready, I’ll explain to her the importance of Butt In Chair for accomplishing those things that are truly important to you.