Making Time to be a Writer When You are a Parent to Little Kids:
You CAN be a Parent and a Writer!
It’s REALLY hard…but you have to ask yourself, what do you really want?
Being a writer has been my dream since I was a little kid. I want to use writing as a way to make income from home as a WAHM.
- What do you want?
If you DON’T want to be a writer, then do yourself a favor; don’t do it! There are lots of ways to make an income from home. INSTEAD: Find something that will make your heart sing. That’s where you belong. ❤️
But if you DO want to be a writer and you have small kids, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- What Are Your Priorities?
“I think you make time for what is a priority to you, and if it’s not a priority, you make an excuse.”
This speaks to me about how I make time for my writing. If you don’t really want to do it, you’ll find some way not to. Sure, you’ll have off-days where you get nothing done. That’s the nature of parenthood. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about consistently carving out time for yourself to do what you know you need to do despite obstacles.
- What Will I use to Write With?
As moms/parents, we rarely have a hands-free moment. If you want to be a writer, you need to find a way to get your ideas down on-the-go.
I use a smart phone. I’m using a smart phone this very second to type out this blog post. It’s 3:30am and I have a sleepy nursing baby in my lap who cries the instant I set him down. But with a smart phone, I can use this down-time to write. If you can text, you can write. E.L. James wrote much of Fifty Shades of Grey on her blackberry!
There are a few essential Apps I use to write on my iPhone, but it’s whatever works for you. You can even use your email feature or the “notes” app that comes with the phone. The idea is that you should be able to transfer your writing to a computer.
If you don’t have a smart phone, don’t despair! If you still want to write on a one-handed apple device, the old iPod touch models and even just an iPhone that’s not connected to a phone service (wifi is helpful) would be excellent tools. I saw one offered for as low as $50 used and refurbished on Amazon.com.
If you’re not a smartphone user, consider a notebook and pen that can fit in your pocket. The downside is it requires two hands for these tools. If you can do a vocal recording to transcribe, a mini recorder might be best for you. You can also do vocal recordings and even voice-to-text on an iPhone. That way you can still be one-handed.
- How Can I Create More Time?
Writing takes up a lot of time. Sure, you can get a lot done if you do a little at a time, but there is something to be said for MAKING a dedicated chunk of time. That chunk could be as small as ten minutes as long as you have focus. But how will you come up with that time? Streamline!
Is there a chore that could be delegated to your spouse/significant other?
Can you pre-make freezer meals in batches to give you an hour or two of free time on other nights?
Can you turn of the television and give yourself that time?
A great resource for mommas trying to find time is The Fringe Hours. I loved this book.
Budget Your Time
You can start by budgeting your resources to make sure you don’t over-commit. Make a list of only a few things. Only what you can accomplish in one day. I have a list nowadays if about 3 items. Sometimes I get more done and that’s great. But I’m not overwhelmed with a huge list.
A great resource for this is Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.
Everyone only has so much time and energy. Don’t be afraid to say, “No!” Here are some tips by Crystal Paine on how to say no in a productive way.
Think About money
Also, be sure to budget finances. That way if you need new writing software or want to purchase a domain name for your blog, you will know if you can afford it. A great resource for financial budgeting is Dave Ramsey. He changed my life with the audio cd set, Financial Peace University.
It’s very hard to concentrate on writing if you’re not sure if your rent check is going to bounce! Do yourself a favor and use a budget.
My family uses an easy and free app/website by Dave Ramsey www.everydollar.com.
Another great resource is The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.
Decide that it is a priority to be a writer, use a tool to make it easier, and budget your resources.
You CAN be a mom and a writer!
What better example for your kids than to have a dream, make a plan and follow through?
Are you a parent and a writer?
Please share your struggles and successes in a comment.