Raising kids and writing novels

Hello. I’m Allison and I have 5 kids. Yes, I know how that happens, (I write romance novels… what can I say?), yes, they are all mine (and yes, they all have the same dad). Now that we cleared up all that, how the hell do you write with kids at home? How do you balance kids and a day job and then write?

I decided 2015 was the year to get serious about writing so I joined the 365k Club. The goal is to write 1000 words every. single. day. It’s so hard. But, I think it’s so hard because I haven’t made an effort to actually write every day. Even if I’m tired, even if I’m sick-ish, even if I would rather do anything but write. I think it would help if I had a schedule and knew that from X time until Y time, I write. Plus, my hubby would help enforce it and nag me to death about why I wasn’t writing, until it was easier to write than to listen to him. So here are some ideas on getting a routine in place and actually writing every day.

What works for me may not work for you so here are a lot of ideas to help you find balance.

1.) Get up an hour before everyone else.
This is a great idea except I start work at either 5a.m. or 6 a.m. So I already wake up between 3:45 a.m. and 5 a.m. (depending on how many times I hit snooze and what time I have to be at work.) There is no way I can get up earlier than that. However, on my days off, I usually wake up around 5-6 a.m. and then lay in bed until I fall back asleep again and then sleep half the day away. But, what if I got up when I woke up and wrote for the 2-3 hours before my kids wake up? And as an added bonus, that would make getting up on work days even easier!

2.) Write after the kids go to sleep.
Another great idea. If you are a night owl, this will be the perfect time to get writing done. For me, this won’t work. See #1. With my alarm going off so early, I’m in bed by 9 at the latest. Most (if not, all of my kids) go to bed later than I do. But, I could have dinner ready by 6 p.m. so that everyone is done eating/ playing by 6:30 p.m. Then I could send them (and my hubby) downstairs to play/ rough house/ beat each other and write from 6:30 until 8 p.m. (when everyone will come back to watch TV).

3.) Write on your lunch break.
This is another one that would be easy to implement. I usually get a 20-30 minute lunch and spend it stuffing my face while trolling on Facebook. I even have a large composition book in my purse. I could easily pull that out and work while I eat. I think it might be hard to write on my current WIP but I could do some work outlining my next project or do some character development stuff. Both of which, would make sitting down and writing later even easier.

4.) Sprinting.
This is a great use of even 10-15 minutes. It is even more fun to do it with writing buddies. Set the timer, write as much as you can as fast as you can. When the timer goes off, you’re done. If sprinting with buddies, you can now compare word counts and gloat or be motivated to do better next time.

5.) Deadlines
As the Queen of Procrastination (I once wrote a 10 page research paper the night before it was due), I think this will be the one that actually gets me writing. I can have daily/ weekly/ long term goals and reward myself for reaching them. Maybe instead of 1000 words a day (at least at the beginning), my goal might be 5000 words by Sunday night. I might have a deadline of eight chapters by the second Thursday of the month. Long term, my deadlines could be have my anthology short story done by February 18th. Have my story beta read by at least three people by February 28th. Finish the first draft of my WIP by March first.

One of my favorite quotes is

quoteSo are you joining me in quitting the excuses? We can make time to write, and raise our kids, and work our day jobs. Do you have any other ideas on making time for writing? I’d love to hear them.

One comment on “Raising kids and writing novels

  1. Woohoo! Yay for not only making a goal but also giving yourself clear guidelines to accomplish it! And what a great goal, too! Good luck! Honestly, I find the first three days the hardest. After that it becomes more of a habit. Kind of like exercise — once you start doing it every day, you crave it, but getting started on a routine feels impossible when you haven’t done it in a while.

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