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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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... :)
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.