Happy Mother’s Day!
By now, you are probably winding down for the evening, hopefully after having a wonderful day with your family, or you’re having quiet “mommy time,” reflecting on your journey, or purposely NOT reflecting and simply enjoying peace and quiet. Believe me, I had a moment when I did a little reflecting, thanking God for my seven babies, but I guarantee I enjoyed quiet as much as I was allowed!
The topic of balancing #momlife and #writerlife (or #authorlife) came to mind, and I wanted to share a few words of encouragement with you. You see, my writing journey started when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I can always recall the exact timeframe because I vividly remember sitting in a writing critique group very pregnant with him. At the time, I had to resign from my job because my pregnancy was high-risk, so I decided to return to my first love, writing. I share my journey in my upcoming revised edition of Put your pen to paper.
Writing was cathartic for me, as it is for many of you. It still is. But around that time, I was ready to take things to the next level and pursue publishing. Over the years, whether I was writing as a columnist or freelancer for magazines or writing books, there are a few things that helped me, and I’d love to share those things with you this Mother’s Day!
Trust me, I understand how you may feel pulled in a hundred directions as a mom. Adding writing a book or pursuing publishing to your busy schedule can be overwhelming. Here are a few practical tips that helped me.
- Decide the best time and place for you to have focused time: This changed for me over the years. Writing sessions were often in the middle of the night when my kids were infants. When they were toddlers, I wrote early in the morning, before they were busy.
- Pace yourself by setting realistic goals: It’s ok if you are unable to finish a full chapter. Set goals that are within reach. Start small (2-3 pages), then increase your goals if you want. You do not have to stress yourself out by trying to be a superwoman. You are not a machine.
- Share your writing journey with your kids: My kids are growing up with a mom constantly surrounded by books. I have always kept them informed of when new books are released and about events I plan to attend. They have also accompanied me to events and watched me teach workshops. Share your journey with them! When they see your process, they will become inspired to pursue their dreams too, maybe even write their book someday!
- Give yourself grace: It’s hard managing work, family, and other responsibilities while committing to completing your manuscript. This isn’t a race. Take your time and give yourself grace. You CAN finish. You have what it takes. Just pace yourself and write one word at a time. I published eight books in between having seven children, and more will release soon. If I can do it, so can YOU!