Has anyone ever told you that kids be crazy? Well, I won’t sugarcoat it—it’s true. I have a three-year-old daughter (and hopefully more kids on the way in the near future!) and juggling my responsibilities as mama, wife, freelance editor, and author is a challenge that never ends.
As a mom, it's hard to find time to do anything for yourself, much less write. But if you're determined to put words on the page, there are a few things you can do to make it happen. Here are six tips that have worked for me.
Keep in mind that what works for one person might not work for another, so find what works best for you and go with it. The important thing is to keep writing, no matter how busy you are! If you’re anything like me, writing is a part of you, and an author career is a dream worth pursuing!
Wake up a little earlier each morning to get some writing done before the day gets too busy.
For the past month or so, I’ve started waking up at 5 am. *Gasp* I know, it’s early! I’ve never been a morning person or a night owl, per se. I’ve always been somewhere in the middle. But I have really begun to cherish those early morning hours. There’s nobody awake in the house except me. I have time to drink my morning drink of choice (chai tea and a protein drink) and sit in absolute silence in my office. I’m still working on my productivity during that time, because I spend a good chunk of it just basking in the silence, but I can usually get a good 500 words in before anyone else wakes up! And 500 words can really add up if you do it every day.
Carve out specific times of the day when you can write without interruption.
This was a challenge for me. When you have a toddler, there’s no such thing as “no interruptions.” But she’s in preschool now, and while she’s there, I work at a coffee shop down the street. It’s an excellent way to shift into a work headspace and get some writing done without being distracted by the mess that is my house.
Use a timer to do writing sprints.
Okay, writing sprints are hands-down the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you haven’t done one, just stop and do one right now. They’re amazing for increasing your productivity! It’s pretty simple—just choose how long you’re going to spring (I usually do 30 minutes), turn your phone to airplane mode, set a timer, and WRITE! Commit to doing NOTHING else except writing for that 30 minutes. Even if you don’t know what you’re writing. Just type nonsense until something comes to you because I promise, the words will flow.
Delegate tasks like laundry and grocery shopping so you have more time to write.
This took some seriously conversations between my husband and I, and we’re still working on implementing this in our home. I reduced my grocery shopping time by signing up for grocery delivery. That has really helped! Laundry and other household chores are still my responsibility, but I schedule them into my day while I’m watching my daughter, so it’s kind of a two-birds-one-stone kind of thing.
Find a supportive community of writers who can offer encouragement and advice.
I cannot even begin to tell you how important it is to find your writing community. I have a great group of writers on Instagram that I collaborate with, and we encourage each other in our chat boxes! There are also local writing groups you can join where you can meet new friends. This is invaluable, in my opinion!
Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small!
How did you win today? Did you write 1,000 words? 500? Even 50? Did you daydream about your plot while you were washing the dishes or changing diapers? Then guess what. YOU WON, and it’s important to celebrate. If there’s one thing I learned having kids, it’s that patience is everything. My path to full-time author may look a little different and it may take a little longer than someone who doesn’t have kids, but you know what? That’s okay. I’ve got a lifetime to work at it, and every baby step is a step forward. And that’s worth celebrating!
If you’re like most moms, finding time to write can be a challenge. Between taking care of the kids, running errands, and doing household chores, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. But it is possible to find time for writing—you just need to be creative about it. What strategies have worked best for you? Share your tips in the comments below!