I’m nine weeks into the Jungle of New Mom and remember, with a mild sense of desperation, scouring the internet to see if anyone else had had their first child while also trying to publish books. Newborn life is tough. It’s definitely a time for commiseration. I realize I’m not the only mom to work and have a baby, but I felt desperate for some 1:1 reality.
And couldn’t find it.
So here are some quick observations.
Life as an Author with a Newborn
– I used to work about 9-10 hours per day (some of that was ramping up to LM’s birth. I was setting myself up to not have to do a lot of work.) Now I work about 0-2 hours. MAYBE 3 on a really, really good day.
– I’ve done a lot of one handed typing while breastfeeding.
– It’s not as bad as I expected because I only have one, and he’s not that mobile. Although there’s a lot of lost sleep and easy meals, I’ve found it not to be as hard as I thought to take my concentration away from him. Actually, it helps to have something else to think about sometimes.
– I’ve forgotten a lot of things. They’re slipping through the cracks.
– I’ve caught up on a lot of reading. Again, while breastfeeding.
– I took the first 10 days off, but got bored during the marathon nursing sessions and started to work again after that. “Work” is a pretty loose term for mostly catching up on emails and social media for the first few days.
– It has been harder to harness my creativity so to speak, but again, not as difficult as I expected.
– I moved my iMac into LM’s room in front of the rocker. Because I have a wireless mouse and keyboard, I can type while I nurse and/or he naps. And I do. It kind of rocks, actually. Newborns should sleep a lot. (He really doesn’t. #colicadventures).
– I don’t fill in all the gaps with writing or work or career. Just some of them. I spend an inordinate amount of time just watching him.
– Nap time is nap time for me too, but sometimes it’s work time.
– I haven’t put editing deadlines on my work yet, because I have no idea if I’ll even be able to write/rewrite on any given day. That’s taken some pressure off.
– I cut back where I could. The blog, social media interactions, and commenting/sharing on other blogs has taken a nosedive. But that’s been fine. I think people expect that.
– I try not to sacrifice sleep for work. I won’t take my laptop into my bedroom at night, and I literally go to bed when the baby does. Which means I’m awesome and sometimes go to bed at 730. #wootwoot
– I use my phone to stay on top of emails during middle-of-the-night feedings that I’m not trying to sleep through. I also use my phone to keep up with Wattpad stories and interacting with fans over there.
– I still post to Wattpad twice a week but it often takes me all day to get it written, and the chapters usually average about 1500 words. Sometimes I can get it done early in the morning, but most of the time I’m just using every 15 minute snatch of time I can find.
– I’ve learned to the harness the power of other people. For example, when I released the third book in The Network Series, The High Priest’s Daughter, I asked for help and it was the most comprehensive social media launch I’ve had because so many people helped out. ALL OF YOU ARE AWESOME.
– Me maintaining a semblance of a career has been a good release for me while having a really fun colicky baby. (Literally. He cries every single night from 4-9 and sucks at naps) I don’t let writing be stressful. There’s no pressure for me to have to get the writing done, so it’s just a good time when I do.
A Few Mentionables.
1. My story The Red Unicorn Candy Store was accepted into the A Game of Horns: A Red Unicorn Anthology published through Wordfire Press! *throws glitter*. It’s now available to purchase here. ALL proceeds go to a scholarship fund for the Superstars Writing Conference to help people who can’t afford to buy their own way in get a chance to attend. #bestcauseever.
2. The High Priest’s Daughter , the third book in The Network Series, was released last month and continues to have steady, awesome sales surpassing my other books. It has 9 five-star reviews so far saying awesome stuff like “Bianca is a force of nature”. She really kind of is, the snarky brat.
If you haven’t snagged your copy yet, grab it here.
3. My Wattpad story, Bon Bons to Yoga Pants, is approaching half a million reads and is now listed with Kindle Unlimited for a trial. (I wanted to see what the ‘pages read’ method of pay out would be like). If you have KU, get a copy of BBTYP on your kindle here so you don’t have to log onto the internet to catch up!
4. Miss Mabel’s School for Girls won the prize for Outstanding Fantasy in the 2015 IAN awards. Check it, and the other winners, out here. (See the shiny new sticker? So awesome! We just hit over 150 reviews on Amazon with a 4.6 star rating. Woot woot! )