As a writer, you are obliged to write every day – that is a rule. Great writers like Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, and Scott Fitzgerald all emphasize the need for working on that pen and paper daily. However, writers ARE humans, which have an annoying desire to ‘go forth and multiply.’ And these human babies that come into the writer’s structured, organized daily writing ritual are greedily apathetic about this rule. It seems like they would do the best that they can to disrupt your huge effort at being the writer you used to be when they were not around.
So now that you’re a mom, could you still possibly be the amazing writer that you were? Of course, you can! Here are some fantastic ways to keep your brain from turning soft and empty from the sleep deprivation and the knee-high poopy diapers that you need to clean out.
- Feed Yourself With Audio Books. There are times when your baby just doesn’t want to sleep at all, and you need to walk her around the house or worse, walk her in her stroller to the park or the neighborhood. The best way to be productive is to listen to some audiobooks that might give you fresh ideas on what to write. You can start with interesting autobiographies of writers, those that don’t need much understanding but ones that give inspiration.
- Make The Structure Of The Story. You can do this while your baby is in the crib playing with his toys or catching for attention with his coos while in his high chair. You can at least sit and think superficially. Just try to create a structure or outline for a story that you are planning to write. If it’s a crime genre you want to write, jot down some bullet points just to organize your thoughts. You know what I mean, right? This always ends up with small plots that you will soon be able to picture.
- Write The Content When The Baby Sleeps. If you are a writer and a mom, then the rule that when babies sleep, you should sleep doesn’t apply all the time. You need to write, and sometimes writing is more crucial than sleeping! Take it from K. Rowling who used to write in her small ‘extra’ moments and created an award-winning series. I know you need to wash those bottles and do the laundry, but you have got to spare a few minutes to write profoundly and without disruption. That is the time that you need to organize your thoughts, solve the puzzles, and come up with short, structured paragraphs. Babies usually sleep two hours at a time, so write during the first hour and then do the chores. Who knows, you might even get an extension of another hour so you can sleep that off.
- Recall Previous And Current Works. The pressures of being a mother and being a writer sometimes get the best of you, especially when you’ve been awake almost the whole night because your baby was having colic (or he just simply wants your attention). If you’re too exhausted to think about a fresh topic to write about, you can dig up the drafts that you didn’t get to finish because you found them uninteresting or had an awkward start. This is your chance to find a twist to these drafts. If you’re lucky, you can transform them into breakthrough manuscripts.
Give it another year or two, and you’ll get your much-needed official writing hours. Your babies will not constantly be looking for you, especially when they’ve learned to rely on cartoons for fun. You won’t get full immunity, of course. You’re a mom, and nothing will change that. But you can learn to live with being that and being an amazing writer – and embrace these roles that you were blessed with.