This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
There was a time a few weeks ago when I looked at my three month old in her bouncy chair and my toddler playing nearby thinking, am I ever going to find time to write again? It bought back all the feelings of doubt and worry I had when my first child was born. Amazingly in the two years since he was born, I've written two and a half novels and so the answer to my wondering is yes I'll find the time, remembering the rules I've learnt.
I remember before my son was born I proudly showed my mum round my office, pointing out my colourful IKEA road patterned rug. ‘I'll be writing over here, whilst my little boy plays on the mat with his cars’. My mum had the decency to bite her tongue, but she reminded me of it a few weeks ago, and then she laughed. Yes, I was blissfully naive to the fact that if I even attempt to put my laptop on in my toddler's presence he either demands to watch Peppa Pig or he snaps the lid shut and says “no, mummy”. I think in two years I have written one whole paragraph in his presence.
2. Get sneaky
I've found the only way to reply to business emails or do a sneaky bit of writing is on my phone. I have Google Docs synced with my Mac and any notes I scribble can be retrieved later when the kids are in bed. It usually works best when the baby is feeding and the toddler is watching Paw Patrol. It's amazing how productive I can be in those ten minutes, that's if I don't get sucked into the Twitter/Facebook/Instagram void.
3. Nothing beats the Baby Monitor
I've never found anything that motivates me to work harder than the white noise of the baby monitor. It's the not knowing if it any second you're going to be interrupted and you never sure what your last word is going to be. This means it’s imperative to get all the ideas from your head down onto paper as quickly as possible, before normal chaos resumes.
4. Take offers of help
My husband offers to take our kids out at the weekends and at first I'm riddled with maternal guilt. But then he goes and I write three thousand words in an hour and a half and I realise that it was totally worthwhile. An hour here when the grandparents visit or an hour there at a friends all helps to rack up the word count.
5. Daydream through monotony
I’d love to say that I love every minute of caring for my children, but there are often hours of monotony where plotting and daydreaming help pass the time. Night feeds or waiting for my toddler to rearrange all the stones on our drive are perfect times to try and plug plot holes.
So, as I look at my two little people and wonder where I'm going to find the time I remember that I will. By hook or by crook, I will write my next book.