For most authors, writing isn’t just a job. It’s a passion, a need. A vital part of who we are. The compulsion to write is strong, especially when the muse strikes with a fresh idea. So how does that work over the holidays? Suddenly there’s kids under your feet, cartoons (or cricket) blaring in the background, pop tunes booming out of bedrooms and demands for food all day long. And all you want to do is write!!
Finding a balance between family and work is a struggle for everyone, but especially for the self employed. Both my husband and I are work from home parents. With two young kids it’s often a challenge. As a writer I easily get lost in my fictional world and let things slide. I mean, who needs a tidy house, stocked kitchen and clean clothes? Especially when I have a kidnapped heroine that needs to be rescued pronto!
My eldest is seven years old and she has no problem telling me to come back to reality, my two year old generally just screams until I pay attention. My husband also will remind me I have a ‘real’ life too. It’s hard to not let guilt weigh you down after you get lost in book land. I don’t mean to get so caught up that I forget my family and friends! It just sorta happens that way!
With the long summer holiday now upon us in Australia I now have my eldest to entertain all day every day. She’s used to school and seems to think I have nothing better to do than create exciting things for us to do together 24/7. I wish I could! Not only do I have deadlines to meet and edits to finish. I don’t have the imagination or the energy to keep up with her! Seriously, she’d give the Energiser Bunny a run for its money.
The only way I can see I’m going to get any writing done is to set specific times aside for it. As my husband needs to work during the day, I plan on spending my evenings glued to my laptop. Once the kids are in bed, I’m going to be working like a mad woman! I think accepting you’re not going to get words down during the day alleviates the pressure and stress of not getting it done. Realistic goals are key!
2013 was my first full year of writing and with seven releases in that time, I’ve really struggled to keep all parts of my life in check. So next year my goal is to find a balance and keep it! I doubt my house will ever be truly spotless but I will make more time for my kids and husband. I will learn how to shut down my computer and go outside into the real world and spend time with real people.