What Cosleeping Has Taught Me About Reaching for Meaning
Posted on September 18, 2012
I have coslept with both of my children for some portion of their lives. There’s basically one rule in safe cosleeping:
When I have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom, or when I’ve been up writing (or watching Doctor Who), I must moved gingerly in order to stick by the One Rule. It was not long after my son’s birth that I found the best way to navigate around a sleeping baby in the dark. When I feel my way forward toward the sleeping bundle, I lead with kisses.
My beso-location method works better than sonar or sleep-squealching light. First contact with a little face or elbow or the fluff on a little head does not wake the child, and I have the joy of kissing my sweet baby.
Writing requires us to grope for meaning in the dark.
There are loads of books and blogs and diagrams and classes that will teach you how to distill feelings or lessons or scenes into their essences, to which I say, have at you. I will add one helpful attitude to the pile. When you are trying to find your way in the dark toward what you love, lead with kisses.
Lead with joy. Maybe your character is a jerk, maybe some really bad schtuff goes down, and maybe you are personally very angry about what happens or happened. But you wouldn’t be writing about it if you didn’t love someone. So ask yourself this: what do I love about this person? How might someone love this character? Why do I want justice for the attrocity? Even if we readers don’t see how you love them, we will feel the love, like a tiny quiet kiss in the dark.