My name is Georgie Lee and I am a stay at home mom and a writer. I write romance novels for Harlequin, Carina Press and Montlake Romance. It’s a glamorous life, getting peed on while on the phone with my editor, accepting a book deal on 2 hours of sleep, trying not to drop the laptop while fending off a bubble wand during a conversation with my agent. Yes, it’s everything you’d imagine the life of a romance writer to be, and then some.
Juggling Being A Mommy and A Writer
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So, how do I juggle all this excitement while making my deadlines and making sure my little one isn’t neglected (notice I said little one, not laundry or house work. Trust me, that stuff gets plenty neglected, but that’s a whole other blog post). I’m here today to offer you a few tips on how you can survive as a work at home writer and a mom.
- Set a schedule for yourself. Depending on what kind of person you are, either get up early or stay up late. If you write while the kids are sleeping at either end of the day, you will gain an hour or two of uninterrupted work time each day. The down side of this will be how fast you discover if the people in your family are night owls or early birds. Kids can smell you trying to work faster than they can smell cookies baking. If you find you aren’t the only person up with the chickens, dump the little ones in bed with dad and explain that you aren’t getting up before the sun for your health.
- Take advantage of nap time by writing, not cooking or doing the laundry. And don’t let the little ones give up naps until they go to college. Trust me on this one. You need the daily quiet time to work.
- Plan ahead when it comes to meals and keep it simple. The Crock Pot is your new best friend, so are leftovers. If a recipe takes longer than about fifteen minutes to prepare and you only get one meal out of it, don’t cook it. If anyone in your house complains about the lack of variety in the menu, invite them to cook. That should stop the complaints.
- No mom is an island, so call in the reinforcements, including grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles and friends. If someone asks to take your child for a few hours, unless it is the scary dude hanging out in front of the 7-Eleven, let them. Now is not the time to be clingy.
- Once you’ve achieved a few hours of freedom, focus is key. Turn off the internet, and unless these things are essential to your work (i.e. you’re a blogger) do not blog, do not check your Amazon author rankings, don’t tweet, don’t post to Facebook, don’t check your Amazon author rankings, don’t do your on-line banking or check your Amazon author ranking. Now is also not the time to cook, do laundry or clean the house. Now is the time to write, write, write. The rest can wait.
- While silence is golden, learn how to write in the middle of chaos. I used to say I needed quiet to work, and while this is still true, I can get words on the paper in the midst of Legos being dumped all over the floor. I’m not saying I can write a perfectly clean draft in the middle of kiddie chaos, but I can give myself something to work with or edit when I finally do have some quiet time, like at 2am.
- Hone your ability to focus, that way, when you get those quiet moments you can —oh look something shiny!
- Learn to sacrifice things like clean clothes and a sparkling house (unless you’re a decorating bloggers, in which case, keep cleaning because I love looking at pictures of your houses). You can always buy clean packages of underwear at Wal-Mart. They sell clean shirts there too.
Nobody said writing and being a mother is easy, and the truth is, it isn’t. If it was, everyone would do it. However, by carving out a little time every day to pursue your dream, it can be done. In the end, I guarantee you, it is worth it.
A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com for more information about Georgie and her novels.