Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Writer Mama #Bloghop 2015


Welcome to the Writer Mama Bloghop!! Today, we're all posting about what it's like to be a writer while jugging the responsibilities of being a parent. If you're late to the party, you're still welcome to join in! Check out the full details in the original post.

A random poster will win a Writer Mama Care Package (US) or a $25 Amazon gift card (INTL). To be eligible you must be signed up on the linky blow and have your post published by midnight today (all time zones).
Photo credit: American Express
I have two small children (aged 2 and 5), and until recently, I've also been working a day job. While doing all that, I've also had three novels published in the last two years.

I can't count how many times I've been asked something like...

"HOW DO YOU DO THAT?"

My usual answer is a shrug, and maybe, "I don't know. I just do." Despite what you might assume from the books I write, I'm not actually a witch, and do not have the powers of dark magic at my disposal. I don't have any secret. I don't have some magical trick for finding time to write.

If I do have any special trick it's this...quit doing housework. ;) I'm only about half joking. The house will get dirty again anyway. If you spend time writing, those words won't fade away.

All of you other writer mamas know that we don't have any more time in our day than anyone else. We simply choose to use some of that precious time to write. I don't write every day. I don't have a schedule. I write when I'm inspired and when I can find the time, usually on weekends or while my kids are in preschool. Sometimes I even write when I'm alone with my kids. I put them in front of the television (gasp) and spend some time writing. When my youngest was smaller I had to actually write standing at the kitchen counter because if I tried to write at the table he would climb on the table and start banging on the keyboard. And forget drinking coffee while writing. Too dangerous to have any liquids near the laptop with those little monsters afoot.

I may not be as attentive (and definitely not as clean) as some other moms, but I do think that my writing will have some positive impact on my kids. I want them to know that you should always chase your dreams, and that you can chase your dreams while also having a life and a "real" job. I hope that they will grow up to do the same.

I often feel overwhelmed with my life, and when I do, I take stock of my priorities. At the end of the day, only a few things are really important to me, in order:

1) My family
2) Taking care of myself and my health
3) Writing

To me that means I need to spend time with the people I love, eat right and exercise, write, and...well, that's it. Obviously life requires other tasks but it's so easy to get swept up in mundane details. If you're overwhelmed, I recommend taking stock of your own priorities and restructuring your life to focus on what's really important.

If you haven't written that novel yet, don't wait until you "have the time." That may never really happen. If it's important to you, you'll need to make the time.
Photo credit: American Express
Now, start hopping! Click on the links below to discover posts from other writer mamas and papas.

The Tina Fey ads in this post are from the "What's Your 20?" campaign from American Express. I promise that this bloghop is not sponsored by American Express (although wouldn't that be nice?...feel free to send me money, American Express) but these ads do a great job showing the life of a writer mom.

19 comments:

  1. Hi Sharon, so much for organising the blog hop! Like you, I often feel overwhelmed, so I was interested to hear that your way of combating that is to take stock of your priorities. I think there is a great deal of wisdom in your order of priorities. I think I've been putting my writing above my health lately, and ended up run down and unwell (on the mend now). I think I will reassess my priorities against your list and see if that shows me what 'extras' need to get sent to the bottom of my list.

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    1. Despite my list, it's so easy for #2 to get pushed to the wayside. I'm always working on that one.

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  2. My housework sometimes suffers when I need to write, but family always comes first. And yup, I learned the hard way not to have any liquids near the keyboard!

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  3. Kids are on the bus and I've posted my Writer Mama #bloghop post @ http://annandersonnoser.blogspot.com
    Thanks for suggesting this--I had FUN writing mine! Cheers! :)

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    1. Loved yours! I feel like I spend way too much time wiping butts.

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  4. When I was homeschooling my kids, the housework dropped waaaay to the bottom of my list. Sounds like you have your priorities straight! Thank you for hosting the blog hop. :)

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    1. I see the value in a clean house, but I don't think it's worth hours and hours of my time.

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  5. Many thanks for putting together the blog hop.

    I wrote my first novel when I was working full time, and had a very troubled adopted daughter in the house. I spent every waking minute of free time I had working on the first draft, which I completed in about 30 days. The reality is that we choose how to spend our time, whether it's writing, procrastinating, or doing something else.

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  6. I wonder what my excuse was before I started writing . . .cuz my house has never been clean. Thanks for the great prompt. I enjoyed writing my post. http://samanthadunawaybryant.blogspot.com/2015/05/writing-while-mom-ing-writer-mama.html

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    1. Ha ha! Me neither. I was already messy...then add two boys...dear god...

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  7. I love your list of priorities - that is really what it should be. AND I found it very comforting and liberating to read "I may not be the most attentive - or the most clean" because that is DEFINITELY me and it made me feel better about just being who I am and owning my life as a writer. :) Thanks so much again for this blog hop - it has been encouraging and comforting to read all of these posts from other writer parents!

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    1. Thanks. I loved how all the posts normalized my experience!

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  8. Love! This is my new mantra: "The house will get dirty again anyway. If you spend time writing, those words won't fade away." ;)

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    1. I hate any tasks that you have to do over and over and it's never complete! Housework is the worst.

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  9. Your advice at the end, "don't wait until you have the time," is spot on. I'm so happy that I'm writing now and have been for three years. But I do regret that I didn't start sooner. There was always some excuse. On cleaning- my house has two messy males and seven animals. It gets dirty again the second I finish cleaning. I swear, I'll leave the room for a moment only to return and find another mess. So, yeah, why bother when it only gets dirty again. I need a live-in maid... though she'd probably quit after an hour or so in my hectic household.

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    1. My whole life I've tried to be cleaner than I am. I've kind of given up. I just need a maid too!

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  10. Congratulations Alex Taylor! Random.org picked you as the winner of the writer mama care package. I'll contact you to get your address. Thank you everyone for participating! There were some truly wonderful posts.

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