Juggling a part-time job, three kids, volunteer commitments and my writing career is challenging. We all struggle with finding time to write and work on our writing careers. It is easy to use lack of time as an excuse to push our writing to the side. I have done it often. But with a few adjustments and change in mindset, I am finding it easier to be a working mom and focus on my passion.
Last month’s issue of Children’s Writer (March 2012) offered some great tips (by Marcie Flinchum Atkins):
– Pack a writing bag: When she’s waiting to pick up the kids, she can read and critique someone else’s writing, edit a piece she’s been working on or brainstorm ideas for a project. If you keep a bag ready and loaded with whatever you need, you are always ready to go.
I just started packing a bag this past week. In it, I have my writing journal, pencil/pen, a hard copy of whatever manuscript I am working on, copies of Writers Digest that I need to read, and copies of a children’s magazine that I am researching for queries.
– Share homework: While her kids do homework, Marcie researches markets, competitive titles, topics or reading publications. I thought this was a great idea and can’t believe I never thought of it!
– Double-Duty storytime: This is my favorite suggestion. Use bedtime stories as an opportunity to read the genres you are writing. This is golden time to learn about the market, while sharing special time with your kids (and passing down your passions of reading and writing). I am blessed to have an 8, 6 and 3 year-old, making it easy to read picture books, easy reader/chapter books and middle grade novels in an evening. I find my kids also make comments about the stories we read, which gives me great insight and sometimes ideas about other stories I can write.
Nothing is easy, but with a little creativity, you can find time to work on writing. I’d love to hear your tips for fitting writing into your daily schedule.