On Fighting Sentiment: Writing While Mothering

I never repost, but this spoke to me.

This is where I come to write

An extract of an interview in the Paris Review with Louise Erdrich (highlighting is my own):

By having children, I’ve both sabotaged and saved myself as a writer. I hate to ­pigeonhole myself as a writer, but being a female and a mother and a Native American are important aspects of my work, and even more than being mixed blood or Native, it’s difficult to be a mother and a writer.

INTERVIEWER

Because of the demands on your time?

ERDRICH

No, and it’s not because of hormones or pregnancies. It’s because you’re ­always fighting sentiment. You’re fighting sentimentality all of the time ­because being a mother alerts you in such a primal way. You are alerted to any danger to your child, and by extension you become afraid of anybody getting hurt. This becomes the most powerful thing to you; it’s instinctual. Either you end up writing about terrible things…

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