Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guest Post Wed: Writing with Kids

Anyone that writes from home, whether for a living or pleasure, knows that some days are easier than other days. Sometimes you sit down and the words just flow so beautifully together that it seems as if it is being channeled. Other times putting a simple sentence together is such a chore. This is especially true when you are writing at home and you have children.

Writing at home with children, telephone calls, doorbells ringing, and one minor emergency after another can be very difficult. I am not sure how anyone else handles this as a writer. I am sure that everyone has their own ways and creative solutions for find time to write. Even other adults have a hard time with the fact that writing is work. The fact that you are home makes you easily accessible to phone calls and interruptions.

I was reading an article about how many popular authors started in their careers. Many of them had similar situations, only finding time to jot down sentences here and there. J K Rowling is a prime example of what I am talking about. She would go out for a walk with her daughter in the stroller and as soon as she fell asleep she would go into the closest café and write frantically while she slept. Stephen King was working in a commercial laundry for long hours while his wife kept similar hours at Dunkin Donuts, and they had two children. Little by little King found the time and plugged away.

It may seem impossible to find time but it can be done. If you really want something you can make it happen, just like everything else you do in life that is important to you. There are some things you can do if writing is truly something you want to pursue.

  1. Do not get frustrated.
 If you can’t chisel large chunks of time out of your schedule to write there are still ways to get your writing done. Write a few sentences or paragraphs here and there. While you are waiting to pick up your kids at school, while children are napping, on play dates, or after they go to bed in the evenings. Forget trying to find a private place and a set aside a certain amount of time. Just grab a few minutes here and there and before long you will finish. Every word counts.

I read an article about author Graham Greene. It was said that he forced himself to write 500 words a day, every day, no matter what. Just 500 words and then he quit. We can all set goals like that; they don’t have to be extreme. That is for those of us just starting out, not for those who have deadlines.

  1. Do not spend time editing.
 Just keep the words flowing until you have it completed. The editing can take place at another time; just get all your thoughts down on paper for now. If you are trying to edit your work every few sentences or paragraphs it will impede the thought flow and make it take so much longer. It will not take as long to have a finished product and having it all down on paper will encourage you to keep working. The editing can be done in the next phase, when you can spend more time refining those thoughts.

  1. Make sacrifices.
 Give up time in other areas, time that you could be writing. Whether it is a favorite television show, a book club, or a night out; think about writing instead. Look at the way you spend your time and decide what is the most important use of your time. What is important to you? What time slots can you eliminate to find more time to write?

  1. Record your thoughts.
 I’ve read about other authors who recorded their books. There are so many ways to do this with today’s technology. You can use your iPhone or any recording device. This can be done in the car while running errands or the airport while waiting on flights. If you consider how much of our time is spent in our cars, or just waiting at traffic lights, this time could really add up. This may not be plausible for everyone but it’s something to keep in mind.

  1. Teach children to entertain themselves.
I was listening to a radio program about the importance of children being able to entertain themselves. Time spent alone in their rooms, not being entertained by television or computers but playing with toys or reading books. This promotes the use of imagination and having a quiet time as an adult. We all know adults who can’t stand the quiet and always have to be doing something. This training will help your children to be able to find rest and be more productive as they grow up.

It’s important not to fill your days with so much activity that you have no time left for attaining your desires and doing something brings satisfaction. It is important to teach your children that life is not just a whirlwind of activities and then you die. You can make time for things you love to do, you can be at rest, and this will result in more productivity later.

  1. Keep a check on time spent on social networks.
 Watch the time you’re spending checking Facebook, tweeting, or for some of us, pinning on Pinterest. We all do it, but do not get caught up and forget this is time that you could be writing. Grab the spare minutes to write a few lines.

Whatever time you carve out of your schedule to write, remember it is not about how much you write; it is that you do write. Do not put it off completely because you can’t sit down and spend hours writing. Just keep persevering, do not give up, and do not wait for a better time. That better time may never come. You do not want to look back when you are 80 and wish you had written that novel. Do not give up on your dream.

Author Byline:
Kelsey Clark is the editor in chief for findananny. She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through  find a nanny. She is a professional writer & loves writing on anything.

1 comment:

  1. That's great advice - especially having kids learn how to entertain themselves. I'm also a big proponent of naps. I'll be so sad when my daughter stops taking them. We'll probably still institute quite time alone in her room for a while.

    My rule is that nap times are for my writing. If that means the house doesn't get cleaned, then too bad. I clean it when my daughter's awake. Otherwise, it will have to happen the next day.

    Oh, and the idea of writing whenever you have the time, even if it's only for a few minutes, is a great one. I never knew how much I could get written in five minutes until I had a kid!