Making Writing Work

Something I already know: Good daily habits are not just for goody-two-shoes. They’re what it takes to get a book written.

Since our son Liam Miguel was born in April of 2010, I’ve had a hard time sticking to a writing schedule. I’ve gotten some work done here and there, generated pages for a couple of days in a row, even managed to work through a revision of my second novel. But what’s missing is the consistency—putting in time, however little, every day—that has been the bedrock of my writing practice. And the weeks just keep slipping by.

So I’ve been cooking up the resolution to get back on track, and I recently came across two great pieces by other writers who are also moms that got my attention and deflated my excuses.

The first is Mayra Calvani’s “Writing Between Diapers.”  Calvani offers heaps of common-sense advice for making writing while parenting work, and I love the last lines of the article: “Frustrated writers are frustrated moms. Frustrated moms are unhappy moms. Artistically fulfilled moms are happy moms who can give themselves to their loved ones without reservations.” If you need “permission” to make writing a priority, paste that bit up.

The second is a blog post·from Sara Bennett Wealer, another YA author whose first book, Rival, will be out in 2011. Wealer reminds us why it is so essential to figure out how to write while having kids, a job, a spouse, and so on. The reason? Most of us writers are not going to make it J.K. Rowling big.

And that’s okay with me. Really. I’m blessed to love my “day job,” which is currently taking care of Liam and teaching college kids.

I just don’t want to forget that I have stories in me that want to find readers, stories that won’t get written unless I park my butt in the desk chair and put in the time.

 

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