Last week, I was interviewed by a journalist for an article about The Mapmaker Chronicles. This once again reinforced to me just how much I prefer asking the questions to answering them… It also reminded me of one of the question that I am most likely to be asked about writing.
“How do you fit writing around being a mum?”
I have written on this subject before. About the inconvenient truth about mothers and writing. About how you don’t find time to write, you make time.
But it’s school holidays again, which means a different set of rules. In the school holidays, Mum wins, and the writer retreats to a corner, chastened, for a few weeks.
Not that she disappears altogether, of course. I have the third manuscript in The Mapmaker Chronicles series all ready to read to Mr10, awaiting his critical feedback. We will walk and bike ride and play, and, all the time, there will be a small corner of my mind, asking ‘what if?’. The boys and I might even sit down and do some writing exercises together.
But, to be honest, I think that mostly the writer will have a bit of a rest. It’s been a big year so far.
How do you fit writing around being a mum?
The mum always comes first, primarily because my children are so demanding and awful (jokes, really). I write at nights and in that weird little window of time between school drop off and pick up. It’s supposed to be approx 6 hours, that window, but we all know it’s really about 3 1/2 max. x
I never write as much as I want to in the school holidays! I try to do jobs around the house that make it easier for me in term time, so I have more time to write – fill the freezer with meals, clean out the kids’ rooms etc. I play DEAR with the kids – Drop Everything And Read – so at least I can fit in some reading and the kids love this game. We also talk about needs – so the kids say they need to go to the park or play with friends and I say I need to write. So ‘sometimes’ I might gain half an hour or so of writing to meet my need because the kids understand their needs have already been met at the park that day. Writing becomes even more flexible and challenging in the holidays!
School holidays are like a big full stop. Kids need to be out or asleep or nothing writing (or painting) happens. The beginning of the holidays is fabulous. The end is torturous!
Enjoy your time with the boys. I love that Mr10 is your reviewer!
Enjoy the holidays with your boys after a busy year!
PS I should clarify I’m talking about the final edit here, rather than just the numerous stages of editing along the way!
Holiday time here too Allison, so there won’t be a lot going on, however… I’ve been having a childminder come for the past few weeks to spend a day with Jono while I edit. It’s getting to the stage where it will take forever if I don’t have some kind of help to get large chunks of work done. I have asked her to come during the holidays so I don’t spend the next two weeks getting further behind!
Until this point, it’s been all in pockets of time squeezed whenever I can – the main session being in the morning after breakfast and before my daughter goes to school, then another quick session once I get home from the school run. Depending on what I’m working on, I might slip in a bit of work when the kids are around, but not editing! It requires far too much concentration and I need to make sure I get it absolutely right!