First, two items of business:
1. If you missed Part 1 of a 5-part Writing Series, read it here.
2. I loved, loved, loved reading your comments yesterday. Intriguing! Inspiring! EXACTLY the kind of stuff I love to read! Bless you!
Now. Moving right along. This isn’t going to be pretty. Consider yourself warned.
Today is NOT a good day to answer Joslyn‘s question–How do you balance the mom-guilt and your writing? (Megan and Lisa asked similar questions about making time to write when you’ve got small kiddos.)
In fact, I had pretty much determined to save this question for last (if I answered it at all). But I decided to suck it up.
My day (Monday) involved a lot of laundry, playing games/puzzles with Nina and reading blogs. And a bit of adult conversation with our singer friend, Jared, who was here brainstorming with Gabe. I worked on my Zoo Book for about three minutes.
At 3:55, I decided to “rest” for 15 minutes before the older two got home. This turned into 90 minutes of I’m-too-tired-to-get-off-this-bed-and-take-care-of-my-children. I barked orders, broke up fights, and bemoaned my pathetic life–all from a horizontal position. At 5:30, I forced myself out of bed to get ready for Ava’s soccer game. Grouchy, tired, irritated at everyone and everything.
I eventually snapped out of it, but man.
(Lisa also asked how much sleep I get each night. NOT ENOUGH. I’d say five to six hours on average.)
Soccer game until 7:30. Late supper. Bedtime routines. Skipped showers/baths. Read to the girls a little. Spent the past hour flipping between facebook and e-mail accomplishing nothing. Writing nothing.
Are you SURE you want me to answer this question for you?
I actually wrote a whole post on Finding Time to Write over at my website (where I originally planned to write about writing on a regular basis–ha!). Here’s a bit of what I wrote there:
I’ve learned to write in chunks, in snippets, in spurts. I have ideas for books scribbled everywhere–journals, scraps of paper, backs of receipts. And when the house is quiet (and sometimes when it’s not), I start pulling pieces together and putting them where I think they should go. I don’t write books from beginning to end. Each of my books is a result of (literally) thousands of bits of info sewn together over time. Lots of filling in the cracks, adding missing parts, smoothing out transitions. Lots of rewriting, cutting, fixing until I’m happy with the result.
I’m always praying about (and often stressing over) finding the balance between my family and my writing (and everything else in my life that doesn’t fit into one of those two categories). Some days I think I’ve got it. Some days not. It’s definitely a daily discussion between God and me.
(Click here to read the whole post. I think you’ll find it helpful.)
The daily discussion between God and me? That’s the key. And the sad part? Sometimes (many times), I fail to make that discussion a priority. I jump right in, try to do it all, and I flop and flounder like a fish on concrete. (and make up really bad similes. or is it metaphors?)
I’ve got to abide by Matthew 6:33–But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. All these things I want to write and say and do? I need to seek God first, ask for His blessing, ask Him to show me what He wants my day to look like.
Many days I crave writing. I just want to write and write and write. Other days, I write through the pain. It just about kills me, but I do it anyway. And all the rest of the days? I say forget it. And read a book instead.
As far as spending time with my kids? The Zoo Thing was awesome. Lots and lots of family time. The older two are in school most of the day now, so I try to keep my afternoons and evenings free for playing games, soccer, nagging them to do their homework.
Nina and I run errands together, and she helps me with laundry, dishes and straightening the house–she loves it. I try to spend 15-20 minutes out of every hour playing games with her or reading. The rest of the time she watches (purely, strictly, completely educational) TV and movies or plays (purely, strictly, completely educational) games on my computer.
So, this post is a far cry from a complete answer, but it’s a mile long already, so…
Here’s what I’d love to hear from you today:
1. Follow-up questions on the topic of balancing motherhood and writing (or any other questions about writing).
2. Tips you’d like to share for balancing motherhood and ANYTHING.
3. Your favorite topic to write about.
Tomorrow’s post–Getting Something Published. Have a great day, friends!