It’s hard to believe that the baby is now 7 weeks old. He’ll be at school before I know it and then I’ll have all the time in the world to write but I’ll probably wish the kids were all back at home with me! I’m not sure if 7 is my lucky number or not but my urge to write new work has come back in a rush this week. I’ve finished an essay, written 2 poems and picked up the draft of my second novel to re-write. I almost feel as if I have to make the most of the creative impulse while it’s here in case it disappears again, as it did a couple of weeks before Darcy was born.
The reappearance of my muse made me think about creativity as something tangible, rather than an abstract idea. When I’m engaged in writing and happy with the words that appear on my screen I do feel it – there’s a visceral sensation that inhabits some part of me. I have begun to wonder whether the babies, when they were in my womb, could feel it too and how much of that creativity found its way into their bodies. When I was pregnant with Ruby, I wrote the first draft of What is Left Over, After in an intense 4 week writer’s residency and then redrafted it at least once. I continued to rewrite it after she was born so the novel and the creativity behind it were always there, always a part of her life. When I was pregnant with Audrey I had finished the novel and was in a more administrative frame of mind, sending the novel off to agents, publishers and awards. The 2 girls have very different personalities and Ruby is clearly a very imaginative and creative soul; she regularly makes up songs and stories and scenarios. Audrey does this as well, but to a lesser extent. When I was pregnant with Darcy I had another writer’s residency at Varuna and wrote my 2nd novel in what was also a very intense burst. Darcy is very much like Ruby was as a baby, their personalities seem very similar and I wonder how much my engagement in creativity at the time of their being inside me has shaped their personalities. Of course I’ll never know but I’ll always wonder.