Monday, February 8, 2010

Writing With Kids

So writing can be tough. Really tough. Writing around kids: Tougher. Especially when you've got three kids under the age of 8. I hadn't planned on blogging about writing and kids when I settled in to write my post last night. Of course at the time I was also trying to clean out my inbox and watch the Superbowl with my husband. At least that was the plan right up until Babygirl decided she didn't really need to go to bed yet. So instead of hanging out with my husband, maybe writing a little, I didn't get to touch my laptop for the rest of the night, not even to write this blog post.

Which leads me to a few tips on writing with kids.

1. Be flexible. Being a mom means dealing with well, anything, at any time. It can be so easy sometimes to get frustrated with interruptions and to let those frustrations stop you from getting back to writing when the latest catastrophe has passed. Reminding yourself when you sit down to write that someone is bound to need you for something, even if it's nearing midnight, will help keep you from giving up before you've finished your page, scene etc.

2. Television is not the enemy. Seriously. Find something the kids like to watch and curl up on the couch (so you can keep an eye on the sneaky buggers) with a notebook or laptop and earphones. The earphones are a must.

3. Don't get dragged under the bed by the envy monster. It's so easy to see other writers blog or Twitter that they wrote 5000 words that day and you know you only wrote 500 or maybe even just 50. Once you start letting what everyone else is getting accomplished start to eat away at you, you might as well kiss your word count for the day goodbye. Chances are those writers don't have little kids at home, so just remind yourself that you're doing the best you can and keep going.

4. Think about your work-in-progress. A LOT. Whether you're a stay at home mom or working at the evil day job, finding time to write isn't always easy. Worse though, is finally getting everything done and settling in to write and then...nothing. The easiest way to avoid that nothingness is to make notes throughout the day or even in your head, so that when you finally get a little time to write, you know what you wanted to get down.

5. Read a good book. There isn't much in life that a really good book can't make better, even if it's just for a little while. So maybe you busted your ass to make your word count and it still didn't work out. Grab a book and let go of the stress. And if you've got bubblebath to top it all off, you're set. :)


Meg Benjamin said...

Oh yeah, this brings back memories! I always say my kids got a head-start on their obscenity vocabulary from listening to Mommy curse at Pagemaker while they played around my feet as I worked on the computer.

PG Forte said...

great post. I can't think of anything to add except this: your kids won't be kids for long but writing can be forever, so try to cut yourself some slack and enjoy life in the slow-writing lane.

Kelly Jamieson said...

I second what PG said! Your kids are the most important thing! So the writing pace slows a little - a lot of other things become a lesser priority when you have kids (for me it was housework LOL). Writing will always be there.

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