Sometimes it's one-fingered on an iPad in the nursing chair. Sometimes it's while tossing a ball for my dog in the back yard. Sometimes it’s on the kitchen counter, jotting a few sloppy words between recipe steps and lunging to reset my daughter’s baby radio every 49 seconds – to avoid a complete, non-cooking-related meltdown. And once in a while, on those rare days when everything actually goes according to plan, it's in my home office while the little one slumbers and my dog curls peacefully at my feet. That’s the dream, anyway.
Right now, while working on the third book in my Desperately Ever After series, my "writing room" is wherever I can spare time for a thought and a scribble. That's because in addition to being an author, I’m also learning how to be mother to a five-month-old girl and playmate to a woefully neglected (though really not at all!) tornado of a labrador named Shadow. Suddenly, two hands are a luxury and I've read The Little Engine That Could ten times for every chapter I've actually written. Who am I kidding? Every PAGE I’ve written.
It’s a new adventure, that’s for sure. But while no longer having control of my schedule can be tough, it’s improved my time management skills immensely. Now, because I never know when a free moment will pop up (or when it will end), there’s no room for delay when naptime appears. Bumbling around and waiting for inspiration to hit (while checking my email and getting more coffee and browsing Pinterest) is no longer an option. Instead, I have to hunker down and pull the ideas to the surface.
And on those days when sleep seems more elusive than a Pulitzer, I find ways to mix writing with something that keeps baby smiling – like dancing to my Desperately Ever After playlist and letting the creative juices flow. Or pacing around the deck with an infant strapped to my chest, flinging a tennis ball and thumbing a Novelicious feature into my phone. Hooray for modern technology!
So despite what Shadow might tell you, the most neglected thing around here isn’t him; it's the office I spent weeks decorating and most of 2013 living in. It's my cluttered haven – with bright orange walls, a turquoise nook for my recycled desk, a vitamin D lamp, a huge piece of artwork I discovered above the garage, too many DIY projects to count, my must-have writing guidebooks, Shadow's fourth bed, and now a rotating collection of baby toys – on the glorious days when the little one allows.
Desperately Ever After by Laura Kenyon is out now.