Friday, April 30, 2010

How to be a "writing mother"?

Okay, so where does time go? And why am I fighting this inevitable evolution of who I am - or who I need to be right now?

I created this blog as a way to forge relationships with fellow writers - as a way to in essence "become" more cohesive and tied to my work. And while I do enjoy popping over to all the fabulous blogs I have since found and keeping tabs on these new friends of mine out in the blogosphere who are so busy writing up a storm, I also feel a bit scattered and inadequate. I feel a bit like the proverbial ducks in my life are not all lining up in a sequential line but rather in a dot to dot of life that I just don't have time to complete.

Yes, having three children (one a toddler at home) could be throwing me off balance...or could it just be that my writing process takes eons longer than almost anyone else. I cannot set myself word count deadlines - if I do, I simply stare at the page counting how many more lines I need to fill. I cannot leave the dishes in the sink and the laundry to pile up while I pursue that next chapter, or else I drown in a sea of guilt. And if I think about it, I don't need to let things pile up, because for some reason when my characters are ready to speak, ready to reveal themselves, they do and somehow it works. It just might take 18 months for it to all flow! Ugh. That's not great output time, I realize. But it is just how it works for me.

And so I write this entry out of frustration. Frustration that I have not been a loyal blogger for a few months, frustration that my book is not further along, frustration that I should truly be planning my middle daughter's next girl scout meeting instead of blogging... But I guess life is a game of hide and seek and I'm back in the game looking around the corner to see where my next chapter is hiding...

Tips on how to be a successful "writing mother" are more than welcome...


  1. The first and most important thing is to not be hard on yourself.
    There are only so many hours in the day.
    Your work, if it takes 18 months or 5 years, will show the time you have taken to think about it and be better for it.
    Also, as your kids get older I guess you will find it a bit easier to squeeze some time in for your writing. That might not help too much with your WIP, but I imagine you aren't planning to stop at one.

  2. I totally understand. I have two young children (7 and 3) and I work full-time at a job that often necessitates bringing work home nights and weekends (I am a teacher). Time is something I do not have in abundance (or even, often, at all). I don't make myself crazy over when this book will get done. I write when I can. I still love it. When I get back to it, it is always such a delicious feeling to steal a bit of time and work on it, so it helps me not to fall out of love with what I am writing. My writing and I give each other space, lol.

    Truly, when I get home from work and pick up the kids, I spend every minute I can with them until they go to bed. Then I am cleaning up, spending time with my hubby, doing schoolwork. If I get to writing, bonus. A lot of people would scoff at my lack of discipline but I choose to make my children my discipline after work because I get precious few hours with them on weekdays.

    The good news is that no one is going to write your novel out from under you. If you finish it this year, great. Next year, great. In five years, great. Your ideas are your ideas and they're not going anywhere. I always thought this rush to finish and publish was a somewhat irrational fear.

    Anyway... enjoy your kids. Enjoy your life. Enjoy your writing. Fit the pieces together the best you can. If you are happy, then it's working. :)

  3. I suppose my pressure is not so much to publish (althought wouldn't that be a great reward!) After a little more intropection, I suppose my NEED to finish and be productive with my writing on a daily basis is because I am home with my children, I do spend glorious hours with them - and quite possibly I like the feeling of completing something - something that says I am more than house cleaner and chef (though I'm not much of the latter anyway!)

    But I think you're enjoy the writing...and isn't that what will make it successful anyway? :)