freelancerforhire

Making Time

In Writer Challenges, Writing & Motherhood on September 3, 2009 at 2:41 am

As a mother I have a lot of things contending for my time, and as a writer, it seems like my work is never done.  So I have learned a few ways to squeeze a few minutes in here & there (besides writing during naps) to get some of my writing done.

At night after the little one has fallen asleep getting out of the bedroom and to my computer can seem like walking through a mine field.  So I keep a notepad and pen in the nightstand beside the bed, and once he’s in a deep sleep I can just roll over and jot some lines down in my notepad.  Getting them typed, polished, and sent where they need to be is the hard part.  I can also manage a few minutes at my computer during the day by using a big safety gate like the one shown here to gate off the “hot spots” (electrical outlets, computers, bookcase, etc) and let him run amok.  If you have an especially independent baby and an intriguing collection of toys you may be able to sit him down with the toy box and get a few minutes in (this hasn’t worked for me, my son becomes easily bored with the toy box and is entertained for longer stretches when allowed to roam the living room freely).  Sometimes if I take him for a stroll in the park he will sit quietly in his stroller while I write.  That usually lasts ever so briefly.

I get the bulk of my work done by sneaking out of bed at night to get a few lines typed before I hear him waking up and by letting him roam around during the day.  But no matter what “tricks” I have learned, I think it’s just a fact of life that i will have to accept – I will not be able to complete anything in the same time I was able to in my pre-baby days.  It has taken me far longer than expected just to rework an article I’d already written to re-submit.  I did finally finish it though today!  Hopefully I will have a link for you guys to visit within the next couple weeks.

If you have any other interesting tips for how you write with a baby let me know!!  I’m always looking for more ways to get the most out of my time & I’ll share them here.

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  1. With slightly older kids (2 and 4) I have small bits of time that allow me to write. The biggest chunk is naptime for my youngest, if I can convince my oldest to have some quiet time by herself. This is not always easy, but I take the days as they come. Some days I can write in the afternoon during naptime, but usually I stay up late at night. I’ve found that I am able to stay awake later because my mind is engaged and I’m excited about what I’m doing. (No more falling asleep on the couch in front of the T.V.!)

    As for ideas, they come to me mostly when I have time to myself to reflect. Usually in the shower, driving or during a workout. Sometimes during a run I completely lose track of my mileage or time because my mind is on my writing! I note them down as soon as I can. I’m thankful for technology, in that I can write myself a quick note on my iPhone and email it to myself for later consideration.

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