I had my first child a little more than a year and a half ago. I read a ton of pregnancy and baby books and thought I was pretty well prepared, but I didn't consider the enormous impact having a child would have on my writing.
I'm just gonna come out and say it. Writing with a small child around is hard. (I'd imagine it's even harder with multiple small children. We're expecting a second at the end of the summer, so I guess I'll find out!)
Hard doesn't mean impossible. Since my son was born, I've done major edits on one manuscript and finished two others that were languishing in first-draft land. It has taken some major determination, though, and a willingness to drop everything and write whenever the opportunity presents itself. Sleep schedules become vitally important (this post is being written during nap time, for example). I used to be picky about creating just the right atmosphere for a long writing session, but now I snag fifteen or twenty minutes wherever I can.
Since many writers are parents, there are some great resources for commiseration and help around the web. Here are some of my favorites:
- Striking the Write Life Balance: Melanie Jacobson has some good tips in this post, as well as reminders of why it's so important to take the time to write.
- Storysplosion: Making Time: This look at motherhood as a writer (with plenty of comic illustration) never fails to make me giggle.
- Parenting Tips for Writers: If you want straight-up practical advice, this is the post for you. Janet Fitch has some great tips here!
Are you a parent? How do you carve out your writing time?