Today I have another guest post. This one is by author and blogger Holly Kerr. Holly writes contemporary women’s fiction/chick-lit/romance.
Holly is also the mother of three kids. So I asked her to write about how she manages to find the time to write. With three kids I know she has to be one busy woman. I find it hard to find time to write and I don’t have any kids.
So please let’s give a big hello to Holly.
Invaded by the Kids
I can see the end of the pier and then suddenly Benjy is driving right over it, and then we’re flying through the air – (excerpt from The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd, by Holly Kerr, to be published fall 2015)
“What are we doing today?”
“Can I have a snack?”
My hand reaches out tentatively. His jacket is open and I smooth his tie flat over his firm torso, stepping even closer as I touch the knot against his throat…
“She won’t let me watch my show!”
“It’s my turn on the computer!”
“It’s too hot to go to the park!”
All writers understand the frustration of being yanked away from a moment where everything is working in your book; characters are amazing you with their dialogue, action is gripping, love scenes are intense…
The timer for the dryer goes off. The doorbell rings. Your email pops up (is it your agent/editor?)
The kids need your attention.
These can be wonderful ways to procrastinate or they can be constant annoyances, depending on how your writing is going at that particular time. For me, my reaction also depends on what I’m writing. If it’s an action scene, or dialogue that I need to get on paper, distractions can be tough. And don’t get me started when I’m writing a love scene! As well as writing women’s fiction/chick-lit under my own name, I also write erotic romance under the pen name Anna Ellis.
Any idea how scary it is trying to write a sex scene while looking over your shoulder to make sure your kids don’t pop up behind you unawares?
I’m a writer who has the good fortune to work full-time doing something I love. I also have three wonderful kids who are home for the summer holidays with me. At times, I don’t think that the two things are mutually compatible.
Just so you don’t think I’m a totally neglectful mother, my children are 13,12 and 9. They are perfectly capable of feeding (for the most part) and amusing themselves and each other. They have friends nearby to play with and lots of activities in the house during the time when I’m working. And it’s not all day; I know there’s no chance of an eight-hour workday, or even a three hour one while they’re home.
Most people would be cheering about that – the summer off to spend with your kids. And I enjoy it as well but I’m a writer. And only writers will understand – I need to write. There are characters developing in my head as we speak; scenes unfolding, ideas, inspirations…they don’t stop.
“What’s wrong, Mommy? You’re quiet.”
“My head is in my book, sweetie. I need to figure out how to end this chapter.”
So what do I do? The two loves of my life (actually 4 loves, since I have 3 kids; 5 if you factor in my hubby) seem to be at war with each other, both demanding equal time and energy. My creativity level is on over-drive; doing my best to get a good chunk of my book finished by the end of the summer and find new and exciting ways to entertain the troops. I know it will be an amazing summer, but I’m tired already from thinking about it.
My plan to maximize my writing time while my kids are home this summer:
- Wake up early. This isn’t difficult because I’m an early bird, and usually at my most creative in the morning.
- Teach my kids about grammar and sentence structure by asking them to edit pages of my work-in- progress.
- Setting office hours for myself and teach the kids to respect when I’m working.
- Share creative time with everyone. When I’m writing, so are they, or drawing, colouring, etc
- Distribute the household chores, ask for help to lessen the time wasted on silly things like vacuuming and laundry
That’s what I have so far. I know this won’t be easy; yesterday I already had a tug of war between finishing the last-minutes edit on my new book and getting dinner started, but that’s a common occurrence.
What about you? What are you main distractions? Any suggestions that I can use?
Holly Kerr has managed to write three books when her kids were in school, Unexpecting, Coming Home and Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder. Her fourth novel, chick-lit/spy thriller The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd will be out this year. Her latest book writing as Anna Ellis is available July 31.
Visit her at hollykerr.ca or annaellisauthor.wordpress.com
Thank you, Holly, for guest posting. I really appreciate it. 🙂