Novel writer Stacy Green found us on Twitter. We’re delighted to have her post about being a mother and writing. It’s something so many of us have to learn to balance. Stacy asks a very important question at the end here. Leave a comment with your experience.
After not writing for several years, I took up the habit again in 2009, as a hobby. My daughter was three and a half at the time, and my husband had given me a laptop for my birthday.
Writing had been a lifelong love but life had long since gotten in the way.
I didn’t realize I was writing an actual book until about a third of the way through, and I plotted most of the thing by the seat of my pants. It’s got a lot of great parts, but the book is far too long and will never see the light of day.
And that’s all right, because it did accomplish one very important thing: I realized my dream of writing a book was still very much alive, and I decided to get serious about my current project, a suspense thriller.
Enter the family life. I’m a stay at home mom/child care provider. I take care of a 15 month old I’ve had since she was eight weeks, and she’s pretty easy to work around. She blabbers and has fun while I work and chat back with her. We have our story times in the morning and afternoon, and play after she wakes up after a nap. She’s pretty regulated and when it’s just the two of us, writing’s a breeze. I’m actually writing this as she plays a toy piano at my feet.
My now five-year-old daughter, however, is an entirely different story. She’s an intelligent, busy child who loves to talk and be involved in everything. Staying home with her has made the two of us very close, something I treasure.
When I wrote the first book, there was no schedule, no pressure on myself. I wrote when I could; in between naps, play time, and preschool.
But now, things are different. I began my current WIP in June of 2010, and I really want to get it done this summer. I’ve given myself plenty of roadblocks, retooling the first part of the book many times as I became a student of narrative structure. Grace loves to play with the fifteen-month-old, but that only takes up so much of her time. She attends kindergarten-prep, but when she’s home, she gets bored and wants Mommy involved in all of her playtime. She was our miracle, and I feel guilty at choosing not to try for a sibling for her, so I oblige, still doing as much as I can while encouraging her independence.
Don’t get me wrong – she’s not attached to my hip if there are other kids around. She’s all over that. She just wants to be doing something and involved all the time, and it’s difficult for her to grasp that I need half an hour to work on the computer.
Fortunately (or unfortunately for my sleep schedule), the baby arrives at 5:30 a.m, and while I’m tired, I force myself to stay up and write, because it’s the only time of day when it’s utterly quiet. Grace is still asleep, and there are few chances of interruption.
Come the weekends, I insist on two hours each afternoon, and she does give it, but the interruptions come often then as she runs out of the room needing this or that, or just popping in to say she loves me.
What’s a mom to do? Tell her to knock it off? Get angry?
We’ve had the discussion that Mommy needs her time, and she tries to understand, but she also wants to be with me and be like me. And I kind of love that.
So I juggle as best I can, writing every chance I get, while still trying to be the best mom as possible.
Still, there are times I feel guilty. Writing is just for me; it’s truly the only job I’ve ever wanted and the only thing I can lose myself in. My husband is supportive, but I still feel guilty about slipping away or demanding more time to myself, especially when I look into my daughter’s disappointed blue eyes.
How do other mom’s handle this, especially those of you out in the “real” working world?
Follow Stacy on her Stacy Green Author blog and on Twitter @StacyGreen26. Let her know you read her post here. Post your own comment. It’s in making these tiny little connections that our networks and communities grow.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Growing up in small town Iowa, Stacy had big dreams of writing the next great American novel. But the stellar idea never came, and she shelved her lists of stories for journalism school.
While attending Drake University and earning her bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communications, Stacy served as assistant editor for the inaugural 515 Magazine, a publication created for the city of Des Moines. The magazine is now a staple of Drake’s School of Journalism and continues to receive accolades. After graduation in 1999, Stacy worked as a reporter for a small community newspaper and then moved onto advertising.
But the dream of writing was never completely squashed. For years, Stacy read voraciously, all the while fine tuning ideas in her head she would one day love to put on paper. A fan of psychological thrillers and crime fiction, Stacy takes a keen interest in criminology and criminal profiling.
Following the birth of her daughter in 2005 – her miracle child – Stacy chose to stay at home with her. After years of being caught up in her career, the writing itch kicked in again. She began dabbling and eventually wrote a drama/romance. Realizing the first story was way too long and already plotting a second, Stacy dove into her current WIP, a suspense thriller set in Las Vegas.
Since diving into the book headfirst last fall, she’s learned much about the writing process and the path to publication. Social media has become a part of her daily life, and she enjoys communicating with fellow authors as they too, strive to reach their dreams.
Her writing blog, Turning The Page, focuses on all aspects of writing, telling the journey from an aspiring writer’s point of view while throwing in the occasional crazy tale about her now five-year-old daughter, Grace.
Stacy’s love of all things crime fiction and her continued effort to learn about the writing craft has helped her created a thrilling story with a deliciously frightening antagonist and a tough heroine she hopes will entrall readers.