I’ve managed to find a tribe, a writing tribe, that understands the difficulties in balancing writing with everyday life. Specifically, motherhood! It is a wobbly, disjointed, dance of time and attention.
When you have young kids like I do, the demands on your time are especially high. I’m lucky that both my boys have started school, so as a stay-at-home mother I have free time during the day to work on my books. I started this year during summer break, so the mass majority of my writing happened at night. Once they went to school I was able to fly through the first rough draft and begin the brutal process of editing. Weekends can feel grueling, particularly if I’ve hit a big streak and Saturday rolls in. Keeping notes of ideas so I can jump back in on Monday helps a lot.
The hardest part of my journey thus far has been Winter Break! I just had to accept there would be no writing or editing done during this time, my kids needed my attention more, and I needed my sleep!
Occasionally, you have to make concessions that break your heart. For me, it was finding out that Berkley (an imprint of Random House), was open to submissions from unrepresented authors until early January. I was beyond excited! Penguin-Random happens to be my dream house, and Berkley is quite respectable! However, Grasslands just wasn’t ready. With Winter Break there was no time for me to do the heavy edits and rewrite overhauls needed to get there. I had to make the choice to let it go, and remember that this wasn’t going to be my only opportunity.
Part of what I consider my “job” as a writer is building a social media presence, as well as this blog, which adds up to more time taken from both family and working on the books. I make sure to spend time through the day to peruse Twitter (and engage!), schedule posts on FaceBook and Instagram, and plan live events to engage with my supporters. Grasslands isn’t out yet, but the more people I can grab who are interested in my story, and me, the better!
So, if you haven’t found your writing tribe yet, take heart! We’re out there! My biggest support is the writer’s group I’ve joined “The Bard’s Corner” https://thebardscorner.wixsite.com/tbcwg which is currently meeting on the first and third Thursday of each month, virtually. Give us a try! If you happen to also be a mother and a writer try http://www.momswhowrite.org who is also on Facebook and Instagram. They are some of the most supportive and brilliant women I’ve known. I also got lucky and had a tribe develop organically on Twitter, using the #writingcommunity and #amwriting tags. I feel like I have a little family there now, who make me laugh, understand the struggle, and seem to always be willing to give a helping hand.
You also now have me! Keep coming in, I’m quite sure some of these blogs will be written as I’m tearing my hair out in frustration! For now, keep going. A sentence written is one more than you had before.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”