Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How I Manage to Write Everyday and Not Neglect My Children

When I went to college, I wasn't ashamed that it was in sole pursuit of my MRS. I happened to get a Bachelors in History along the way, but let's face it, that was just a bonus. I've known since I was little I wanted to write and in my naive mind, that was the perfect occupation for someone who wanted to stay at home and raise kids in her free time. 
Well, two little boys later, it's still the perfect occupation for a stay-at-home mom, it's just a bit more complicated than I imagined. Sure, I get to stay home all day, the question is: when do I write? And how do I manage to write everyday and not neglect my children?
Let me start out by stating something I really, strongly believe. That in most cases you should delete really out of sentences because it's worthless. Okay. Seriously. We're all given talents and whether your talent is writing, scrapbooking, cleaning (yeah, I honestly call that a talent), sewing, cooking, or insert your own here. We should be working on improving those talents. It's not a crime to take an hour or two out of your day to focus on doing something you love. It keeps you sane. And it all depends on you about the time. I'll tell you how I make it work.
My computer is in the living room & I frequently write for only five and ten minutes at a time. These two, for me, have to go together. Both of them may seem counter-productive, and for many people they are. I'd get very little writing done if I didn't do both. I happen to have rewired my brain to work with "Phineus & Ferb" playing in the background. With my computer out in the open, I can write while my kids are playing and feel like I'm keeping an eye on them, and I'm involved in their wonderful, little lives. If they're entertained by battery-operated light sabers for twenty minutes, I use that twenty minutes to hack out a scene.  Then, when the light saber mission turns into a UFC fight with weapons, I'm onsite to take control. 
I try not to turn my kids down, even if I'm in the middle of something "important." If they let me, I take thirty seconds to finish a sentence, but the risk I take while writing for those few minutes is that I might lose part of an idea. I'll take it. 
I'm lucky enough to have two kids who still nap. In my world, nap-time means I get to do anything I want. I refuse to crowd it up with cleaning just because the kids are asleep. Cleaning can be done (or not done!) any time of the day. So I take those two or so hours and I write!
Just figure out what's going to work for you. One of the biggest steps I took was finally calling my writing "work" to myself and my family. (I was the hardest one to convince.) It can definitely still be fun, but when you let yourself think of it as something important, you'll find ways to get it done. 
Now you know how I manage, how do you do it? What do you do to keep writing every day?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the fabulous post, Ranee! It's a great preview for my own future. I work full-time (with a long commute) and half the week I get to do it from home while watching my little one (6 months already!). From 7 am to 7 or 8 pm, there is no writing (but there is plenty of baby giggling!). The rest of the time, it's in constant flux. I keep myself moving forward with a great smelling half-pot of coffee at 4 in the morning and reminding myself that not too long in the future I'll be able to show my little princess--by example and through encouragement--that it's okay to follow her dreams.