Managing Writing and Parenthood

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Managing Writing and Parenthood

On Saturday my two wonderful step-kids arrived on the plane for two months. It’s amazing how much they’ve grown and how their own style is beginning to shine. My summer will be filled with taking them to camps, the movies, planning meals, sightseeing, my day job- basically trying to be organized enough to keep it all together and not lose my sanity.

Writing in the Morning

One of the things I plan to keep on doing is getting up early to write. For the past few weeks I’ve been stumbling out of bed around 545 am every morning and taking advantage of the quiet time and my fresh mind to just write. (That happens after a cup of green tea) Most of the time I’m writing around 1k, which I’m really pleased about. By writing in the morning I find I’m more relaxed in the evenings and not putting additional pressure on myself to write. Since I have written in the morning I allow myself to focus more on social media, as I can do that with noise in the background.

Will My Blog Suffer?

But, I know there will be overwhelming days ahead of me. One thing that will most likely suffer is my blog. I usually keep a few posts in the queue, but I’ve run out. This past work week was beyond crazy busy and my plan to write a handful before the kids got here just didn’t happen.

For all those parents out there that try to keep it all together and on top of that write, what are the things that keep you motivated to be uber organized so you find time for your passion?

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Although those years are far behind me, I can still remember the juggling act needed to keep all engines running smoothly.

    It sounds like you’ve got a plan and I will keep you in my thoughts that it works the way you want. Also, I look forward to your telling us about the kids and what you will be doing this summer.

    Great fun is on the way !! Enjoy 🙂

    1. laradunning says:

      The plan seems to be working so far. Although this weekend with my nephews baptism my plan is totally out of whack.

  2. Matt Follett says:

    I wish I had some awesome advice or good words of encouragement, but alas it is 10:44, my boys are both in bed sleeping soundly, and I have to be up at 6 ready to roll. My window for writing is officially open & this is the first thing I’ve been able to pen. Some days I can just crank; others…not so much. I will say this, the joys and heartbreak of parenting make you a better writer in the end (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). If you find the secret to organized writing while parenting, post away. I for one will stop making love to my espresso machine and listen.

    1. laradunning says:

      With younger kids I think finding the time is the hardest thing. Everyone wants your time, your spouse, your kids and often you get left behind. I often use my shower time-which is usually pure alone time-to construct my next scene or plot out my character arcs. Then when I do have time to write the words are on the tip of my tongue and ready for the page.

  3. clarbojahn says:

    When my boys were small and growing, there were times I had to write. Journal. I would loose sleep to do it. Like you I would wake up early but it was for work. (I had to wake up at five thirty to make the six thirty shift at the hospital). The way I lost sleep was that if I didn’t write I would have insomnia. That’s how important writing was for me. Now when I have my grand son here for a few days, my husband takes him somewhere so I can write. And now he’s eight sometimes I write with him doing something else quiet. But as you’ll find the time isn’t as useful of efficient.
    Try to enjoy and don’t grieve your writing time.

    1. laradunning says:

      Great advice. I need sleep or I’m a little on the cranky side. Oh who am I fooling? I’m alot on the cranky side.

  4. christicorbett says:

    I have six-year-old twins who are about a week away from the start of summer break.

    I get nothing done on the WIP while they are awake. Nothing.

    Instead, I use that time to focus on things that can stand interruptions…writing blog posts, networking, blog surfing, wasting time on Twitter. (Oh, and doing all the things that Mommy need to do with the kids too!)

    Then, when they are in bed I rush to the computer and put in as many hours as possible.

    Have a fun summer with the kiddos!

    Christi Corbett

    1. laradunning says:

      OMG! Twins! You are a brave writer indeed. Sounds like you’ve found what works, stick with it and keep the words flowing!

  5. Hi! Thanks for the Twitter follow and for subscribing to my blog! Most appreciated. I’ve subscribed back! You’ll read occasionally about some of my adventures as a Mom of 3 sons, all three now in their 30’s. I’m now a grandmother of a beautiful, brilliant, wonderful and perfect little 9-month-old girl named Zoë Alyson Calhoun, and if you can’t read the pride in that, then somthing is wrong with my writing (or maybe your reading? No, surely not that!). One of my favorite “early years” tales was done as a guet-blog post for “My Pajama Days,” (a great blog!). You might enjoy that story. Here is the link: She gives some info at the beginning, so you can just scroll down to the part entitled “The Early Years.”

    Being a Mom of little ones is way more than a full-time job. As much as you love writing, and want to do more, just remind yourself that someday you will get to be an old lady like me, and have all the wonderful memories you are making now as fodder for your blog and writing. Other than letters and some occasional poetry, I didn’t start writing seriously (LOL) until a couple of years ago. I have a memory bank that is chock-full now; I’ve recently begun my first book – the working title of which is “Irreverently Yours – The Itinerant Life of a Pastor’s Wife.” It is meant to be mostly funny – as most of my life has been, and as it has possibly “scandalous” revelations, it will be written under a pen name, as well as places and names changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty). Not having tackled this sort of project before, I’m glad that I don’t have little ones using me as their “beck and call girl.” You are heroic in your efforts to cram everything in. So, blog when and if you can, and once summer break is over, things might (or might not) settle down to your usual pace. Good luck with that!

    I wish you enough. . .

    1. laradunning says:

      Sounds like you’ve had a interesting life and the book will be sucessful. Thanks for your encouragement. I look forward to the days when my life is not so constrained and I can write full time, or something close to that. Being a stepmom I find I often try to over compensate and that only adds more pressure on myself. This year I’m trying to take a much more relaxed approach and choose what is really important for that day and in that moment.

  6. Keryl Raist says:

    An ultra supportive husband who takes the kids on Saturday so I can have the whole day free. For me it’s an absolute lifesaver. I usually get a blog post and 3-5k words done on the novel.

    I’ve also got a gym membership. The people at the gym offer 2 1/4 hours of child care a day. So the kids go to the kid zone, I get a quick work out, and then take the laptop and write.

    Between that and Saturday I get enough writing done to keep me happy, and I still get to spend a bit of time with my husband in the evenings.

    1. laradunning says:

      WOW how wonderful. That is a supportive husband. Mine are old enough that they can watch themselves for short bits of time. Its the noise factor that is most distressing. I can totally lose a train of thought with slamming door or footsteps running up and down the stairs.

  7. mbwilliams says:

    It is great to find someone out there writing about these kind of issues…It absolutely drives me mad! not having time to getting time to do the things (such as writing) that I love. however the strangest thing is that when I’ve had days and days off work…I find that stimulation is lacking. Even the stress of a busy job seems to push me into writing more and more, in every spare moment! I think you’ll have a great time with the kids, and even if those moments you find to write are rarer, they’ll be more precious for it.

    1. laradunning says:

      Sometimes that does happen to me as well. Everything seems to happen all at once and then a flash of inspiration hits you which makes you find the time to write it down.

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