Monday, May 4, 2015

Writing and Being a Parent: Part of the Writer Mama #Bloghop

Hello, everyone! As part of my Twitter friend and fellow CQ author, Sharon Bayliss's Writer Mama Bloghop, I am writing a post about being both a writer and a parent. For those who don't know, I have a five-year-old son named Max and I'll be giving birth to another boy around the end of this month. Part of the prompt had some questions to spark ideas, so I just decided to answer the questions in order. Here we go!
  • How do you make time to write?
I get up and write before my husband and son are awake. Usually this means getting up at about 5:30am or so. It may sound terrible to some people, but I have always been a morning person. Usually - with the help of coffee - my mind is bright and alive in the morning; whereas at night, my mind is a useless pile of mush. I also grab some time here or there during my son's naps, and over the summers (when my husband is working and I'm not) I'll sometimes have babysitters come over to watch my son and then I'll go to my local coffee shop and write there for a few hours.
  • How does your spouse feel about your writing?
My husband is incredibly supportive and one of the first people who encouraged me to follow my dream and write. I've read about some authors whose spouses read and edit their work, but that is NOT how things work with us - it would make us both miserable. He supports me with encouragement and by helping me find the time to do it, and that is exactly what I want and need.
  • What are the common questions or comments you get about being a writing mom?
Most people say things like, "I don't know how you find the time!" and I usually respond with the truth about what it takes: dedication and sacrifices.
  • Where is the strangest place or circumstance where you've found time to get some writing done?
I've written in a notebook while taking my son to the public pool, made notes on napkins at fast food places, and speak-texted into my phone while driving to and from work.
  • How much time a week do you spend writing? How quickly do you write books?
Every week is different, and I definitely go through phases that are much more productive than others, but it's taken me about six to nine months to write each of my four books. My most recent two (the one being published, THE HEARTLESS CITY, and its sequel, THE HYPNOTIC CITY) took longer because they're historical fiction and required additional research.
  • What impact (if any) do you hope to have on your children by being an author? Would you want your children to follow in your footsteps?
I just hope it encourages my sons to follow their dreams, whatever they may be. Being a writer requires so much work and brings so much rejection; I want them to see that I kept on trying even when it got hard and do the same with whatever their dreams are.
  • How old will your children have to be before you let them read your books (if ever)?
My books are all YA, but I would feel comfortable letting my sons read them in 5th or 6th grade I suppose. Now, whether or not they would WANT to read them is probably another story... :)
  • What tips or words of wisdom do you have to share?
If you think that having kids will make it impossible for you to be a writer, you are wrong. I didn't start writing novels until after my first child was born. Since then I've written four books, gotten an agent, and a book deal. Trust me, if I can do it, you can.