Happy Mothers Day!
It amazes me how many writing mums there are. And I mean in a fantastic, awe inspiring way. I have three kids under the age of seven. The days they aren’t at home, (thank you school and nursery,) are a blessing. But I know just how hard it is to not only write a novel, but parent a child at the same time.
Nowadays, when I say I don’t have time to write, I usually don’t. My spare time is senselessly filled with me sitting on the sofa with a mug of tea I pray won’t go cold, waiting for the inevitable moment my youngest wants me to get up and dance with her. Again.
“Writing a novel–actually picking the words and filling in paragraphs–is a tremendous pain in the ass. Now that TV’s so good and the Internet is an endless forest of distraction, it’s damn near impossible. That should be taken into account when ranking the all-time greats. Somebody like Charles Dickens, for example, who had nothing better to do except eat mutton and attend public hangings, should get very little credit.”
-Steve Hely. ‘How I became a famous novelist.’
I laughed when I read the quote, and while I don’t 100% agree, (after all, Game of Thrones is only on 6 weeks out of the year,) it does hold some truth. Life itself is a distraction. Writer mums, we have our priorities- our children and our home. Our paying jobs if we have one. For me, writing usually falls on the back burner during my child filled days.
But how do you find time to write when you have a million and one things to do each and every day?
If your children are especially young, active and requiring that extra bit of attention, you might find it hard to sit down at your computer. Writing isn’t just the physical act of writing. Give your character a backstory while washing the dishes. Plot out that next scene while you’re making lunch. Jot down that perfect sentence on a post it note while wiping a snotty nose. Writers are constantly creating. So while you may not be writing everything down, you’re still working.
Schedule it in
Creating writing habits, some say, are essential to ensuring that you write regularly. If your days are busy with play dates and chores and watching the 3rd hour of Peppa Pig in a row, then try setting aside a regular writing slot every day. Whether that’s early in the AM, or late at night. This way you don’t need to worry about trying to fit it in.
Write when it hits you
Some writers swear by the above, but there are others who just can’t make it work. There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down to write, only to get constantly interrupted. If a set time per day doesn’t work for you, just worry about writing when inspiration hits. This way, you can build blocks and race cars with your little ones when your muse is out, and write when it comes back in.
Write in short bursts
Let’s be honest. Writing for an extended amount of time when there are ‘ten other things to do today,’ can be difficult. Writing for ten to fifteen minutes at a time is a great way to get in a decent amount of writing when there’s so much to do.
Kids are stressful. Life is stressful. Don’t feel like you have to do it all yourself. It is perfectly okay to put yourself first every once in a while.
Writer mums. How do you find time to write between breakfast and bedtime?