I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for fantasy romance “Divine Scales”. The author talks about finding time to write in her guest post, and I completely agree with her – sometimes it is hard to find time to write. As a freelance editor, I struggle to find time to edit as well. So this post applies to just about everyone, and it makes for an interesting topic to think about. Enjoy!
Finding Writing Time as a Mom
I got serious about writing as a career just after I got pregnant with my first child. The timing was…interesting.
As one would expect, it took me awhile to find my parenting groove. I was lucky to have a lot of help, so I learned to give him a bath and dress him without flopping him around like ragdoll, how to heat the bottle without turning it into a tongue-searing acidic spray, and how to change his diaper without having an Old Faithful moment. Unfortunately, the only thing no one around me could really help me with was writing. Specifically, how does an exhausted first-time parent find time to write? As time went on, I figured it out. Here’s what I learned:
1.) Guilt is normal. Special moments can help.
A “special moment” was time that would stick out in my head at the end of the day as a happy memory for both me and my son. It was quality time that I set aside specifically to play with him, time when he and I were relaxed and happy and able to enjoy each other’s company. Maybe it was trying to hold onto his little hands and walk him around, maybe it was reading him stories and making funny faces, or maybe it was playing with one of the few toys that held his attention. The important thing was that I felt like I had prioritized time with him, put effort into making it quality time. It helped me sleep at the end of the day (well, except for the three to six interruptions).
2.) Accept help. Ask for help.
This might seem obvious, but I’m sure if you think about it, you can think of someone in your life who needs help, but always refuses it when offered, or just won’t ask for it. It is easy to be one of those people, especially if you are feeling guilty for not spending more time with your child (see point number one of this post).
If you don’t have family, ask a friend. Get out and meet other parents, form play-date alliances. Getting help isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. If you’re serious about making writing a career, sacrifices will have to be made. Sometimes that sacrifice is forcing your introverted writer self to get out and meet people so you have mom friends to form symbiotic (symbiotic is important, no one likes a user) babysitting relationships with.
3.) Efficiency doubles your time.
There are tons of books out there that will help you maximize your writing time. When you don’t have much time, you have to make use of the time you have. Here are a few strategies that may help:
- A writing routine helps your brain shift gears to writing faster. Sit in the same place to write, use a certain scented oil, drink a certain beverage. Do something to signal to your brain that it’s time to write.
- Keep a notebook handy for plot points and ideas so you can jot them down throughout the day. Knowing what you’re going to write before you sit down to write saves time. I take the time for a serious writing plan (Snowflake Method), and a novel that used to take me two or three months to write now takes me one.
- Turn off the internet. This one’s hard, but it works. There are lots of programs out there that will actually prevent you from getting online for a specified period of time. I know a lot of writers that use that and swear by it. If you check your email during your writing time, look into one of those programs. Remember, minutes might as well be hours when your life is ruled by the schedule of a child.
Writing when you have a baby is not easy, but it is doable. You can find the time, you can feel good about your parenting, and you can turn writing into the career that will take care of you and your little one. I quit my waitressing job a little over a year ago and I’m making enough money writing now to pay my bills. It can be done.
Do I sound confident? Good. Come February, I’m going to have baby number two…
About Divine Scales
Author: Jennifer Blackstream
Genre: Fantasy Romance
A warrior with a hunger for sin . . .
Driven by a terrible hunger for the black souls of evil men, Patricio, divine executioner of the gods, patrols the kingdom with blood on his hands and ice in his heart. The families of his victims sing his praises–the result of a witch’s cruel curse that condemns him to be forever surrounded by false adulation. When the curse sours the first hint at romance Patricio has had since becoming the king’s heir, his rage is all consuming. Disgusted, he leaves the mermaid in the sea and returns to the palace…only to be shocked when she bargains for the legs to follow him.
A mermaid out of her element . . .
Marcela’s world has been turned upside-down–literally. Once a proud member of her father King Triton’s royal guard, she’s now the victim of an angel’s curse. Enchanted into false adoration bordering on obsession, she traded her tail–and her voice–to the sea witch for the legs she needed to pursue the object of her desire. In a cruel twist of fate, the very magic that gave her the means to pursue her passion also broke the spell that caused it. Now she’s in the angel’s arms, but how can either of them trust the desire churning inside them when so much magic has muddied the waters?
Trust isn’t easy when nothing is as it seems . . .
A mermaid with legs and no singing voice. An angel with a curse. A witch with a chip on her shoulder. The world is full of magic and mayhem, and for an angel and a mermaid, it will take more than a kiss to balance…the Divine Scales.
Jennifer Blackstream is a psychology enthusiast with both a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology. Her fascination with the human mind is most appeased through the study of mythology and folklore as well as any novel by Sir Terry Pratchett.
Jennifer enjoys listening to Alice Cooper, trying new recipes (to which she will add garlic whether it calls for it or not), watching television with her family, and playing with her woefully intelligent young son. She lives in Ohio.
Jennifer spends most of her time drinking coffee from her X-Men mug and desperately trying to get all her ideas written down before her son can find that all magical button on her laptop to make her latest work vanish.
To learn more about Jennifer Blackstream and her novels, visit her website at http://www.jenniferblackstream.com.