It’s been months since I attempted blogging after giving birth and dealing with babyhood. Having kids is crazy pants. Working and having kids? Double crazy pants. I know I don’t need to tell you. Some of you are doing it all and then some on the side.
In a brief update, LM is almost nine months, bears an uncanny resemblance to a pterodactyl, holds a deep adoration for yogurt that I can only admire, and loves a good Costco run.
What My Life is Like Now as an Author
My Projects in Babyhood
I didn’t actually think I could pull it off, but I’m happy to announce that it’s possible to be a Mom and an author. Sporadic, but doable. Whilst bottle feeding and playing peek-a-boo an absurd number of times, I currently I have 3 projects running in various stages of completion.
I Am Girl Power— the second novel in my chick lit series, The Health and Happiness Society. This is currently out for early edits and beta reading.
Switching from full time to do-it-when-I-can has been a difficult transition, to be honest. I didn’t want to give up that time. But now I don’t want to give up LM. So . . . there’s that. I regret nothing! Despite the craziness (which I secretly love to conquer) LM has given so much to my life.
It’s not easy, but it’s doable.
When I Work
WHENEVER I CAN.
- Now that LM is past the colic and-I-don’t-think-I’ll-sleep-at-night fiasco of the first 4 months, he handles places like Starbucks well. I take him to the coffee shop, toss him in his Bumbo, and give him a few toys while he people watches. I can usually get about 30-45 minutes of writing in, which is a lot considering I wouldn’t have it otherwise.
- Right now, he’s sitting in my lap atTEMPting to grab the kEYYjboard. No lie. <—This is him. Sometimes when I have a deadline, it comes down to lap time.
- Naptimes. His “nap times” are often only 30-40 minutes, but little things add up to big things over time.
- I can get about 1-2 hours of work in every night. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Cooking dinner and doing absolutely everything else that I can while he’s awake (normally I’m wearing him) helps.
- While hiking/running/walking my dogs and LM.
I never used to put so much time
into plotting or thinking individual scenes out, but since I don’t always have hands-free time, or stretches of more than ten minutes when I’m not a human jungle gym, I’ve found that really thinking a scene through helps me fly through the writing later.
- While he’s occupied chewing with a credit card, I go through emails on my phone or post to social media then.
A Few Things That Have Helped
- I networked into a project manager at a writers conference last year. We now chat weekly on Skype. He’s helped me organize my projects, figure out best uses of my time, and we’ve even figured out a way that I can outline without feeling like I’m outlining, which cuts down on rewrites. #pantsertotheextreme
- Husband is on board with me working at night. I don’t always slave away at the keyboard, but most of the time I do. He’s an introvert. He doesn’t care. 😉
- I take Sundays off. It recharges my brain.
- Outlining. Even a loose outline has helped immensely. Then I can think about the scenes and what’s coming up and it cuts down on the sheer amount of ugly writing.
- DP 10. Not even kidding.
- I let go of my blog for the most part, and cut down on social media to the basics. When it comes to work time, my number one focus is writing: always.
There are so many new facets to my life as an author and a Mom and a runner and a dog lover and a reader and all the other things, that I find myself more often overwhelmed. But the truth is that writing is a priority. My family is a priority. My health is a priority. (Not in that order, necessarily) 😉 But I let them be important, and so they happen.
In truth, while LM cuts down on my work focus, he’s add a lot of awesomeness to my life. He’s stressful, intense, busy, and somehow poops everywhere, but even though my business has slowed down a little (not as much as I had anticipated) he adds more to my life than he takes away, which makes my writing (and me) better.
This whole balancing thing is rarely perfect, I’ve found. There are a lot of fast dinners and dirty laundry days.
But that seems like a pretty normal swap.
How do you manage life/children/careers/responsibilities and your writing goals?