Writing with Kids

People keep asking me how I was able to write a book (non-writing people), and how I had time with a job and two kids. The answer is “I don’t know.” There was a time where I could write a 120 page screenplay in two days, with a revision. It took me several years to write the first three parts to Mesh due to many reasons: work, lack of inspiration, bogged down in research, planning a wedding, getting another degree, getting a fixer upper house, kid #1 and kid #2.  

These last two were by far the most rewarding and time consuming. It’s not just that you can’t write while playing dinosaur or changing diapers. When you do have time to write, you’re too exhausted to do so. 

My solution was not to try to write perfectly. If I had 30 minutes, write a paragraph, just to move the story along. I can always revise. And also, to set aside child-less time that was dedicated only to writing (this meant out of the house so I wasn’t tempted to hammer or paint something). As a teacher, this was a  bit easier, since I could write after school before picking the boys up from daycare (usually an hour), and that usually gave me at least one day during vacation weeks to write. Still, the beauty that is matching up free writing time with a peak inspiration time was near impossible. When I had ideas, I had no time to write. When I had time, I had no ideas/energy. 

Writing with two energetic, rarely napping/sleeping boys, means acknowledging that it will take me a lot longer to write my story (like years longer) than before. And realizing that when I do have free time, I need to spend it writing, not watching TV, going to the movies, playing video games, taking a nap.  I cut out all recreational things. 

I would still like to get better at this. I have nine more parts of Mesh to write, an eight part Middle Grade series to write, and a seven part YA (I think is series for whatever reason). I plan to get to all this, after I spend a few more hours in the sandbox, pushing a swing, or playing play-doh. 

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