Monthly Archives: September 2013

Writing woes with a sick child

The school season is fully underway, which means it’s also time for the sick season. Baby Markey has enjoyed her first two weeks in preschool and now she has her first real cold. It’s wonderful that my daughter is in preschool and active in dance, soccer and music classes but it also means that she is exposed to more children and therefore more germs.

Any parent will agree that there are few things worse than having a sick child. Not only do you hate seeing your baby sick but it is physically exhausting and draining. For three nights now my husband and I have not slept well because of constantly checking on our sniffling, coughing little angel.

A sick preschooler in a herd of stuffed toys and Oscar (the dog) looking after her.

A sick preschooler in a herd of stuffed toys and Oscar (the dog) looking after her.

Luckily she is now on the mend but during such sick days mommy’s writing suffers. When I can write my head isn’t clear from the lack of sleep. So how can parents taking care of a sick child still be productive on work? My answer is housework. Yes, I know I dread it too. However, when your child sleeps, if your mind isn’t on work mode take up a chore that doesn’t require much thought. I can do laundry while in a zombie-like state.

Now how does this help your writing? I write best when the house is in order. I like not having to think about or be tempted by laundry, dishes, etc. Now that Baby Markey is nearly back to her normal self I can once again dive into my writing. I can feel rested again, have a clear mind again and the house is in perfect order. Well, as perfect of an order it can be in with a preschooler, giant dog, cat, and two rabbits.

How do you survive through the days of caring for a sick child? How can you maintain some sense of order and productivity when the little one you love is suffering through a cold?

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

In preparation for Nanowrimo, I’m offering my popular Writing Moms (and Dads too!) workshop through WANA International. Learn ways to tailor your schedule and create the most effective writing routine for you in this October workshop.

In addition to this workshop I’m also offering a private consultation, where I’ll customize a routine for an individual based on their needs from a specialized questionnaire and Skype discussion.

WANA Con is coming October 3-5!

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A writer’s guide to writing with children: Making the most of waiting

This year my daughter started school and extracurricular activities such as dance, music and soccer. I’m so excited for the opportunities she’s being given but can’t help but feel like a professional driver.

I drive to her school and take her to her lessons. I wait at each of her activities and love seeing her achievements. But all of this takes time – time away from my writing. But with all the time that is involved in being at my daughter’s activities I can’t help but notice the amount of idle time also involved with my new schedule.

During dance classes, music lessons, and soccer practices I can write a lot. Technology makes this easier with iPads and efficient writing software programs. Writing parents can also take advantage of car pool lines.

Working parents of busy kids don’t have to suffer. They only have to get creative with their time. Look at the times you just sit and wait. Look at the idle times during your day. Use that time. Make the most of it and stay on top of your goals.

Are you a writing parent stressing over deadlines? Are you a writing parent trying to sell a manuscript you can’t find the time to finish? Next month I’m offering my popular “Writing Moms (and Dads too)” writing workshop via WANA International. During the month long interactive online workshop I’ll be helping writers develop an efficient writing plan that will work with their family lives.

For more information click here and I hope to see you in the virtual classroom. There is no better time to make a writing plan if you plan to participate in NANWRIMO.

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How I’m remembering September 11 with my toddler

Most of us can recall with great detail where we were twelve years ago today. On September 11, 2001 the unimaginable happened – America was attacked. Everyday normal people were killed and just like that the world got a lot scarier. Something I’d never feared before became reality and the fear alone was enough to empower those who planned the attack. Almost but not enough. We’re still strong and we’ll never forget.

patriotic cookiesNow as a mom, I face a new sadness each 9/11. On top of remembering the tragic events of that day I’m faced with the dilemma on how to handle this topic in front of my three year old. Of course she’s too young to watch the footage of the tower or to really be told what happened. Instead we celebrate America by singing songs, reading patriotic quotes and decorating cookies in red, white and blue frosting. Rather than talk about what happened we celebrate America’s strength and those who fight each day for our freedom. I’m sure to hug my daughter a little tighter thinking of the children that hugged their parents for the last time that fateful morning.

We’ll approach each September 11 differently depending on her age and maturity. Someday I’ll have to have the difficult conversation about what happened but until then I do prefer to keep her innocent and free of such fears for a little longer.

Before 9/11 I had never been afraid of an attack on American soil. I was a senior in high school when I learned how evil can truly strike anywhere. My daughter will not grow up with such innocence. She’ll study and know about the events of September 11, 2001 long before high school. We won’t shield her from our nation’s darkest hour or the news of terror plots reported on the evening news. She’ll grow up in a scarier world than I did and that fact is sometimes more troubling to me than looking back on that day.

Our nation was changed but it’s the loss of childhood innocence that is the real crime. How do you handle the topic of September 11 with your children?

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It’s not too early to plan for NANOWRIMO

NANOWRIMO or National Novel Writing Month is in November and therefore, just around the corner. It’s never too soon to consider partaking in this worldwide event. It’s important to consider:

1. Do you want to submit yourself to such self-induced stress?
2. What kind of book do you want to write?
3. Do you have a premise in mind?
4. How much outlining, plotting, etc. should you do?

And the biggest question of all……

5. How do you find the time to write a novel in a month?!

Take a deep breath. Calm down. You can do this. I’m a firm believer in, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” The real question is how can you make the most of your time. I suggest you plan your time before you dive into plotting that exciting NANOWRIMO project.

But I have a ___________(fill in the blank.)nanowrimo logo

The truth is that everyone has something that can be used as an excuse to not write a novel. In my experience the greatest excuse and obstacle often who we love the most—our children. After my daughter was born I quickly realized that I knew nothing about time management, something I once considered a strength. I quickly had to learn to adapt to my new role as a writing mom.

And I believe I have, though it’s always a growing and changing process as time brings new experiences in motherhood and therefore new challenges to time management.

In preparation for NANOWRIMO, I’m offering my popular “Writing Moms (and Dads too!)” for the writing parents struggling to balance writing and family life. I’d love to welcome you to the class and hope you’ll check it out at WANA International.

How best do you manage your time when a writing frenzy is about?

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