Writing with kids and life…
By Lori Devoti
My very first appearance as an author was at the local library. I did my “this is how I got published spiel”. Afterwards, a woman came up to me to tell me how she had always wanted to write, but see…she had small kids, so it really couldn’t happen for quite a few years.
I smiled ’cause see…I wrote my first book with two kids under six at home with me. And those two kids both have cystic fibrosis. So, I not only had to deal with the fights, the many juice demands, and potty training, I also had to deal with chest physical therapy, a multitude of daily drugs to keep straight and way more doctor interaction than I recommend for anyone’s sanity.
But I did it and frankly so could this woman if she really wanted to.
Does that sound callous? I don’t mean it to, but the reality is that if you want something bad enough you will find time for it. We don’t live in a time where every waking hour has to be dedicated to cooking, cleaning, hunting, or farming for our very survival. (I mean I haven’t boiled my own soap for years!) No, the vast majority of us take time for things that aren’t absolutely necessary to our survival or our family’s survival all the time. We watch TV. We browse the Internet. We shop. We do stuff! And while doing stuff is important for our sanity and living a full life–each of those things is a choice and we could choose to be doing something else.
Simply enough, that’s what I did and to a degree still do.
Last Thursday we learned that a child in my son’s class had H1N1. This was a huge deal to us–my kids, both under 12 and both with CF, getting H1N1—-well it is a nightmare I don’t want to even consider happening. So, we, after a deep discussion, pulled them out of school. Since last Friday, I have been spending all day with them, home schooling them. And I am on deadline. And I was already behind where I wanted to be.
But you know what? I discovered I can get enough done to make my deadline–even with giving up hours to them every day.
I had to make adjustments. I watch a lot less TV. I spend a lot less time reading blogs. I ignore a lot more stuff – flame wars, entire conversations on loops, current events.
I adjusted my goal. I decided I could take an extra week to get the book done. It cuts into my revision time, but I know I can do that in the time that is left.
I adjusted my writing time from Monday thru Friday to every day of the week.
What I didn’t do is say “I can’t do this.” Because that is the one sure fired way to make sure you won’t.
Bottom line, I made my writing a priority again, and if you want to write with life and children you will probably have to do that too. But the good news is…You can!
Go forth and write. 🙂