The Mom, The Wife, The Writer

At a conference I went to at Utah Valley University a while back, Shannon Hale talked about how she juggled being a mom and a writer. For her, she gets a babysitter in the afternoons and writes for a few hours.

For me, I wake up an hour before my baby girl does and if all goes well, I get at least 45 minutes of writing. When I don’t hit snooze and when my daughter doesn’t decide to wake up earlier and when my husband isn’t running late and doesn’t need me to help him make his lunch.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can balance everything. During the day lately, I am lucky to be able to write an email in one sitting. This blog post is only happening because my daughter is eating. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. And easy to wonder, “What the heck am I doing? I can’t be a writer. I’m too busy being a mom.”

And that’s not all I am busy being. I’m a wife too. So my girl goes to sleep, but then I’m focused on spending time with my hubby, who’s been gone all day.

But I have to have something for me or I’ll go crazy. My book and blog are for me.

So, oh you wise writer-moms (or dads) out there, how do you do it? Impart your wisdom, pretty please.

——————*****———————

Updated 9/16/10: Here’s a very encouraging quote from agent Mary Kole:

In fact, I think writers who have to find time to write because of other obligations are often more committed to their writing work. When you have all day to do something, you usually figure out a way to take all day to do it (the constant drama of someone who works at home and can’t afford to take a whole day to do one simple thing). A task stretches to fill the time allotted for it. But when you have to extract rare writing time from a busy work day, it becomes precious, like gold extracted from base metal in the ancient pursuit of alchemy. You focus more, you value your writing time more, you get more done.

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About Karen Krueger

I write for teens when I'm not chasing after two cute kids. I love to sing and eat cereal (though not at the same time), and I most certainly am not a vampire because I'm addicted to sunshine.
This entry was posted in Personal, Q4U, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Mom, The Wife, The Writer

  1. I have to say, I don’t really juggle. I just throw everything up in the air and let them fall where they may while I put my arms over my head in the hopes that I don’t get clunked on the head.

    Really, though, for all my planning the best way to get something written is to stand in the corner of the kitchen with the laptop on the counter. It makes me write faster for several reasons: 1) I’m actually hiding from my 18-month old twins. It’s inevitable that they will find me, so I have to get as much down as possible and 2) because I’m often in the kitchen and I can quickly access the computer between chores if I think of something I need to get written down quickly, and 3) because it makes my feet hurt to stand and type. That makes me gets straight to the point. I know that I’ll get to sit down later in the day when DH comes home, so it’s like an incentive for me.

    I don’t get large chunks of text written unless the kids are asleep or a family member can watch them, which is hit-or-miss. But the kitchen-counter-method is a great system for notes/ outlines.

    • What a fabulous idea! I find myself “writing” in my head as the day goes along, but then I always forget it because I don’t write it down. That’s a great way to get it written down, I think. 🙂

  2. rbs says:

    Might I say how much I ADMIRE young mother/writers! I just can’t believe how well so many talented AND dedicated women do this with babies on laps or tugging on legs!

    I’m O.L.D. and I struggle to get writing time in! I do NOT like TV, but my cute spouse does, and so we’ve agreed that I can work away on my laptop while he watches his action favorites. I guess having raised 4 boys, I have learned to tune out gunshots, bomb blasts, and sirens. (My sons were walking-talking sound effects!)

    Carry on, Karen. You inspire me.

    Renae

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