And no, I don’t mean a net troll.
I’m talking about the diminuitive magical beings that grace the households of many writers, breeding havok, stealing writing time and generally being delightfully distracting.
We call ours trolls because of our connection with the Germanic traditions, which is where the word ‘troll’ comes from. And because of the level of chaotic destruction they create.
Writing with small people in the house is fun, but challenging. Much more so than before I had kids, the daily fight to protect my writing time is more than doubled. There’s always someething I could be doing with them instead, always some appointment that needs to be scheduled, always some world ending drama that needs to be mediated.
And I’m one of the lucky ones. Before Gabriel became an artist full time, he worked out of the house 9 to 5 like so many other spouses of writers, leaving me to fit writing in between nap times and before everyone got up for the day. My first book was written in 15 minute slots between feedings and nappy changes and meltdowns. Possible? Yes. Fun? Possibly not…
But I tell you what — they’re bloody inspiring, aren’t they? We’re not joking when we call them magical beings. The level of creative, off the wall thinking that goes on in the lower 4ft of our rooms is staggering, compared with the thinner air Gabriel and I inhabit. Just getting down on the floor with them seems to spark new ideas, new ways of thinking and writing (or painting or singing or moving).
My work is so much richer for them, and I couldn’t imagine doing it without them.