Tuesday 12 April 2011

Writing. . .With Children

When I first became a mother, I was completely absorbed in the crying, waking, feeding, cleaning, and newness of it all.  I couldn’t imagine I would ever have the time or energy to write again.  Then there came the day, probably six months in, when my little girl was napping and a sunny day presented itself.  I took my notebook outside to the picnic table along with the baby monitor, and continued the novel I had begun so many months before.  Elation!  I could be a mother and a writer at the same time!  It felt wonderful to escape for even twenty minutes, from the all-consuming career of motherhood, into my favourite occupation.

Once I had overcome the initial shock of parenting, I found my way into a daily schedule which involved a lot of home time.  This has been essential in my writing practice.  I recently read a book on teaching by Debbie Miller which emphasized the importance of sameness in each day for encouraging learning and creativity.  When you can count on certain things in your day, you can make time to create.  This has certainly been the case for me.

Each day I write, I carve out time for my craft.  I make sure my children are happy, fed and occupied before I sit down at my computer (I no longer write my novels in notebooks.  Typing is so much faster!)  I make sure the laundry is going, the kitchen counter is clean and I have answered my phone calls and email.  Then I can concentrate on my story. 

I had the pleasure of listening to Jane Urquhart speak at WordFest in Calgary.  She said that writing has always been her reward for getting the housework done.  I can concur. 

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