People wonder how I manage to get so much writing done. As the mother of four children and a homeschooler, I am pretty busy, I admit. However, these same wonderers don’t see my house. They don’t see the dust covering the tables and mantel. They don’t see the piles of books and magazines across the hutch ledge or in large bags on the floor. My kitchen island is currently covered with school books, toys, a Christmas cactus, library books, an ice cream scoop and pencils. A wooden train track and a dozen train cars are in the middle of the living room floor and a trail of plastic links in pastel colors are also scattered around.
And sometimes for dinner we have frozen pizzas, because I’ve either forgotten to take meat out to thaw or don’t have a crucial ingredient for what I planned to cook—you know like the noodles for spaghetti, or the taco seasoning for tacos, that kind of crucial.
But I can’t not write. Writing for me is like an extra appendage that I can’t live without. I have tried. And perhaps during those times our dinners were a little better, but I was probably not happy. If I don’t get my thinking and writing time, I tend to get cranky around the family. I’m sure they would readily agree if I were to ask them—so I won’t.
Yes, there are times I can completely zone out and be in the writer world I am creating. I don’t always know when these times will strike, but I do have a fairly regular writing schedule I try to keep so that these zoning out sessions don’t happen at home when I’m supposed to be teaching phonics or history. Most of my writing times at home however are only 30 minutes long, which add up to quite a few words without being much of a burden on day to day operations.
I’m blessed now that my oldest daughter can babysit for me and that I don’t have to constantly get a sitter scheduled and picked up, like in the olden days of my writing. And since the baby, actually, she’s almost two, so I guess she’s a toddler, naps during these times, she doesn’t even miss me. Moms of babies and toddlers especially need to have a creative outlet, and mine just happens to be writing.
Are you a mom in need of recharging? Or a writer trying to figure out how to carve out writing time? There are so many ways to go about it—swapping childcare (I also did that years ago), leaving after dinner for the library for a couple hours, going out on Saturday mornings (I do this now), writing during nap time and ignoring the dishes in the sink, or getting up earlier—you might find out you’re a morning time writer.
If you had a day to yourself to do what you wanted, what would that be? What activities, hobbies, passions stir you and make you long for time to spend doing just that? Dig out the pencils and sketchbook, the paint and canvas or the apron and mixing bowl. Spend half an hour doing something for fun and you will be glad you did.
Tell me about it after you’re done!