Have a writerly question?
Struggling with a mom/writer problem?
Okay, how do you balance inspiration with the time you have to write?? My ideas flow as I am about to
fall asleep and my writing time comes – if I’m lucky – Mondays from 9-11am. I can only pop back up out of
bed so many times to write my ideas down. With 3 darlings – 7, 4 and 2, I have to take what I can get for
both writing time and sleep. And THIS is provided no one is sick (last 3 months completely unproductive
due to said “sick”). When time and flow of writing sync up, it’s amazing. But lately.. sigh.. it’s just not
Oh, boy. If I had a dollar for every time I hunched over a sleeping infant in an attempt to scribble a few
sentences down on my nightstand, I’d be putting Bill Gates to shame right about now. I completely get it.
Wrangling three tiny humans along with your muse can definitely feel overwhelming. Thankfully, it’s
actually a fairly straightforward fix. It’s going to need some discipline to make it happen, though, Mama.
You’re going to need to make yourself a schedule and.. wait for it.. follow it. Sit down and realistically
plan your week out. Work in time to write, and work it in every single day. Is it ten minutes at naptime?
An hour before they all get out of bed? Whatever it is, stick to it! Defend your writing time as though it’s a
fourth child who feeds on your sanity instead of biscuits. Keep a journal next to your bed to keep yourself
from needing to get up in the middle of the night. Write down just enough to get your idea down, then set
Kids will always be your first priority, but your personal mental health can suffer if you go on like this too
long. Writers turn positively batty when they don’t make time to write. Either that, or they turn into
remarkably well informed serial killers. I’m assuming you’d rather be sane and not incarcerated. Buckle
up, Buttercup. It’s going to be a wild ride.
I’ve been writing for a few years now with only a couple people very close to me knowing. My career is
starting to grow and I’m at the point where I’d like to be more open with people in real life about my
writing, but I keep finding reasons to put it off. I want to do it because I’m proud of all the time and work
I’ve put in, but I’m hesitant to open myself up to questions and criticism. I write spicy romance and that
plays a big part in my hesitations because I think the content of my books will be very surprising to
people who know me, and I’m worried about being judged by the moms of my kids’ friends. What do you
suggest? Should I keep writing in secret until I feel more confident sharing it, or should I bite the bullet
and shout it from the rooftops?
I want you to take a minute and think about what you go through when you write. I’d imagine that
between dodging children, significant others, financial obligations, friends, family, other hobbies.. writing
time is a precious commodity. It’s something that you need to seek out on purpose, to put effort into.
Now, armed with the knowledge that you’ve purposely set on this path, let’s look at the end result. A story
that might cause some giggles at the hair salon, or some slackjawed stuttering from the local librarian. A
story that you had to write, rewrite, edit, rewrite again.. and you’re proud of it, damn it. Don’t be ashamed
of your pride – you worked your ass off for it, so stand tall, Mama!
I suggest being open with people. Hiding what you do means hiding a part of who you are, and indicates
some level of shame. Don’t be ashamed. Simply be aware of your audience. If somebody asks what you
do, tell them you’re a writer. I don’t care if it isn’t your day job. Introduce yourself as a writer, because you
are! They’ll inevitably ask what you write. Be honest. Short stories, novels, articles. If they’re still
interested, open up and tell them that you write romance. I’m sure you’ll get every comparison from
Nicholas Sparks to EL James, but you can handle it. Be open, be honest, be proud. You did it. Now strut
your stuff and own it!