But first, let's talk about what it means to be a writermom. I am happy to be part of Sharon Bayliss's "Writer Mama Bloghop" (click here to see more posts in the blog hop) and share with other writer parents out there the highs and lows of being a writer mom. Because it isn't easy. As a mother of eight children I hardly have time to myself, never mind have time for writing. But here's some things that I've learned.
1. Use my writing time wisely. When I have actual time to sit down at the computer, I don't waste it on Facebook or Twitter. I keep a notebook in my car and my purse. (Yeah, I'm old school. You could probably use notes on your smartphone or something.) But, so often, ideas come to me during carpool or orthodontist appointments and I don't have to repeat them to myself over and over so I don't forget. I can get out my notebook and write it down. Or, I print out the last page I was working on before I go and start writing the next scene while I'm waiting. Use your time.
2. When I am doing dishes, I am thinking about the next scene in my book. When I am playing Legos with my little boy, I am sketching out scenes. (Since I write military/spy stuff, my little boy thinks it's awesome and a really fun game. And it's helped the blocking in my books immensely.) But with the scenes firmly in my head, I can use the half hour at the computer by just getting everything out of my head and onto the screen as quickly as possible.
3. Guard your writing time. It is valuable. Use your caller ID. Don't answer unless it is important. If you have time to write, don't tell your neighbor you will do something for her or chat with the door to door salesman for half an hour. Sometimes it is okay to say no to things so you can use your creative talents.
4. It is okay to show your children that you have hopes and dreams as well. Just as you support them in their talents, they can see the value in supporting you in yours. They see all the hard work that goes into my books and they are proud of me. They also work hard in their piano and sports and whatever else because they know that every talent takes work and they've seen it in their mom.
5. Find a supportive group of people to surround yourself with. Thankfully, I have a husband who has supported my dream of being a writer from the beginning. He takes the kids when I'm on a deadline, he makes a meal when I'm in the middle of an important scene. He is understanding when I go on and on about story ideas. I know it would be infinitely harder to do this without his support. I also have a group of other writer moms that I go out with regularly. We talk about kids and writing and laugh and brainstorm over dessert. It is a sanity check that I don't know how I'd do without.
6. Try to write something every day. Even if you only get a couple of paragraphs out, at least it's more words than you had yesterday. Sometimes the words aren't flowing---and that's when I need to get in the tub or take a walk. My creativity seems to be stimulated by water or fresh air (and studies show that it's actually a scientific thing to have your creative part of your brain stimulated by water. So get yourself near some water!) I can't have a set schedule, but I do definitely try to get some writing in every day and that's helped me finish books.
7. Go easy on yourself. If you don't get the scene finished, it's okay. Your kids are dressed and fed. If it takes you a year to finish your book, hey, you finished and kept the kids alive! That's an accomplishment. Make little goals for yourself every week, though, and you'll be amazed at how those babysteps add up to something awesome! (And you can get accountability by checking in on Writer Goal Wednesdays right here on my blog!) Celebrate all the little things to keep yourself motivated.
8. Be proud of who you are! I am a mom and I am a writer. I'm not ashamed to say it. My banker knows it. My pediatrician knows it. My kids' orthodontist knows it. And they are some of my biggest fans. It is motivating to go run errands and appointments and have them ask about my next book or tell me what they thought of the last book. Makes my whole day every time! But they wouldn't know if I hadn't told them, so be proud!
One thing I always recommend is to take a little bit of time for yourself, no matter who you are. Pick up a good book! Treat yourself. And since we are celebrating FOUR YEARS of my mom blog, let's give away some awesome prizes so you can do just that, shall we?
We have BOXED SETS, a $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD, AN AUDIOBOOK AND TWENTY-FOUR print books, autographed books, and ebooks that YOU could win! So, since there's going to be a lot of winners, what are you waiting for? Your chances are awesome. (I'm going to be posting covers and blurbs all week, just so you can see all the wonderful prizes that are being offered. I'm excited to party with you this week!)
(Click on every little circle at the top of the Rafflecopter to see ALL the INCREDIBLE prizes!)
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon gift card. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.