Thank you to Misty and the Magical Musings gang for having me here, today. I love this lively and fun blog, so it’s a privilege and a blast to be one of your special guests!
Raising Kids While Writing Full Time
There’s Got to Be an Easier Way to Drive Yourself Insane
I know, before I first sat down to write my first novel, that I had this image of what writers do all day. You know the one—eating bon bons, reclining on a fainting couch, being creative and mythical. The truth, for me, was slightly, okay, almost the exact opposite as I had five kids under the age of eight running, or crawling, around. My only excuse for thinking writers had some magical abilities to write in utter chaos is because I was too brain dead to know any better.
Just this past weekend I was talking with two mothers who had teenagers and then an oops baby, who was still in diapers, and these writers were struggling with how to write with their changing family dynamics. Most mothers juggle this situation at some point in their careers and, even if you don’t write, you might face it doing something else that matters a lot to you but tends to get set aside for the needs of everyone else.
I wish there was a one-answer-fits-all solution, but there isn’t. Raising children (and working an outside job) while harboring a dream to do something different can work, with a little creative strategy and a down-in-the-soul determination to make it work. Here are a few words of advice:
* Expect the process to challenge you. Get rid of the ‘ideal’ creative environment and embrace what you have to move forward.
* Kids are the world’s best time-management trainers. Use them to teach you to think when you can, work when you can, and accomplish what you can when you can.
* Create a routine. Light a candle. Turn up a specific song. Use a reoccurring small routine to train yourself to start what you want to accomplish, even if only in small increments.
* Keep focusing on what you can do, not what you can’t do.
* Remain flexible with your schedule and your expectation of what can be accomplished.
* Remember that what you’re doing is not only reaching for your dream, but teaching your children that it’s important for them to do the same.
Okay, bring on your own suggestions, whether you’re writing or reaching for a different dream: How can you work on what matters to you with kids underfoot?
One commenter to win WRITING ACTIVE HOOKS Book 1, an e-book in the expanded Writing Active Series! (available for pre-orders now) It’s really good and, for writers, it’ll make a huge difference in your writing! For readers? You can have WRITING ACTIVE HOOKS or any e-copy of one of my Urban Fantasy Invisible Recruits series. Your choice!
Mary Buckham is a USA TODAY bestselling, award winning author of both fiction and non-fiction writing craft books. Her Urban Fantasy series, The Invisible Recruits, focuses on five women recruited to fight preternatural threats in a contemporary world that is unaware of the danger around them. The sixth novel in the series, INVISIBLE SECRETS, will be released in Fall 2014. She also co-authors with NYT bestseller Dianna Love the YA dystopian Red Moon Series, with the 3rd book in that series, TIME LOCK released in June of 2014. The WRITING ACTIVE SETTING series (in e-format and book form) helps writers of all genres dig deeper into their craft and her next Writing Active book; WRITING ACTIVE HOOKS Book 1 will be released in Fall 2014. She lives in Washington State with her husband and has lost track of which kids and grandkids are at home at any given time. She can be reached via her website www.MaryBuckham.com or on her Facebook Reader page www.facebook.com/marybuckham,