|Pic credit: wwarby|
I found Sherlock's mother infuriating and went back to reading. I've been a mum for 18 months now and can honestly say that it's not having children that risks removing creative energies. It's not the colouring-in or the games. It's that when you actually have time to work, you may be too tired from the nappy changing, washing, cleaning, feeding and teething. Work doesn't seem silly compared to all this. It seems blissful. Ellis doesn't let women off the hook in How To Be A Heroine and that made me smile. I'm not saying she advocates getting up at 5am to write if you've been up all night with molars, but it was refreshing to read her incomprehension as to how female authors who hadn't quit could show their characters happy without a pen in their hands. Writing isn't like that. It's not something you can drop. You may have to, at times, put the ball somewhere safe, but you always know where it is.
Personally I find I'm learning a great deal from combining motherhood with writing. That said, I'm sure I'd gain insight from simply growing older too. I do understand time differently now - in terms of time away from a script and time within it. I can't work how John Cleese suggests in his talk on creativity. I'd never get anything done. But I can still work, even though that may go against a notion sadly reinforced by a leading television programme. Sherlock made me angry. It reinforced an idea that needs to be kicked to the kerb. Creativity isn't finite. And we need women with a range of life experiences to keep putting work out there.