31 Thoughts on Being a Writer and Mom, gallery Friday, October 31, 2014
I couldn't think of a more fitting way to end this series than an honest interview with myself. In many ways I feel like I'm just touching the surface of what it means to be a writer and mom, yet in other ways I feel like I've been talking about it forever! Either way, enjoy the last post!
When did you start writing publicly and how old were your children?I started writing in 2008, before we had children. We were in the midst of our infertility struggles and I was starving for more purpose in my life and to connect with others in the depth of isolation and despair. Blogging has become so much more than an outlet, writing has become a way of life.
When during the day did you pursue your writing?I would write whenever inspiration came. I often wrote five days a week. I was on the computer all the time and commented TONS on other blogs. My free time was spent with my husband and writing or building my platform through networking.
How old are your children now and what has changed?Now I am a mother to four children. An almost-11-year-old, 7-year-old, 3-year-old, and 2-year-old. So much has changed in my life, and it has impacted my writing in monumental ways. I struggle greatly to fit in time to write. I will sometimes get up early to write (generally when I'm working on a project, like my book), I will write during our family's mandatory rest time (even for the big kids), and I will write at night. Not every day and not always during those times either. But when I have the energy and feel like I have something to say, I try to squeeze it in during those times (like right now, I'm typing this at 10:11 pm).
Do you feel tension between your role as a writer and as a mom?Many times. Especially when I find myself inspired during the day. It is a war to keep away from the computer when I feel like words are begging to be typed on to the screen. Yet, I know my work on the computer can wait for later when my children are right in front of me. I still struggle though, even knowing that truth.
How have you worked to relieve that tension?I do my best to stay away from the screen when my kids are up. I don't want my computer to consume me. The internet never stops, yet I have to stop. I don't want my children to simply remember me on the computer. They deserve my time, and my full attention in this season of life. There, I try my best to keep my mothering priority where it belongs, above my writing. Sometimes my husband gives me a "day out" to work on bigger projects, this helps me be able to get things done more too. That way when I am home and my children are up, they get my attention.
How do you feel when your writing life overpowers your mothering pursuit?I feel ashamed and full of regret when I overlook my children for whatever is calling my attention on my computer. I want to treasure the time I have with my kids with the truth that it goes by so quickly. I do not want to waste the time I have with them.
How do you keep the two priorities in place?My rule to try to stay off of the computer when they are awake. And also I do my best to take time away from my computer on the weekends, or at least on Sundays, this helps remind me what is truly the most important.
Do your children know that you write? How do they feel about it?My kids know I write, and feel proud. Especially as I have been writing about our adoption journey. They are excited for me to use our story to inspire others. However, they also speak very honesty to me when my writing overpowers my mothering and they see me on my computer more. I welcome their feedback, it helps keep my priorities in place.
How has the Lord spoken to you in this season as you pursue motherhood and writing?The struggle is worth it. Don't lose focus on the important of your mothering, but don't turn away from the opportunities to encourage others with your words. There is time to do both, I just have to accept my limitations and know that I can't do both full-time. My mothering is full-time. I do my writing on the side.
In what ways have you thrived this year in your writing?Writing my book is something I wanted to do, but wondering if I'd really be able to do. This year has proved that I am able! I am so excited, especially looking forward to November, for my book to release and for the time I did spend away from my children to be worth it.
I hope you have enjoyed this series! It has been a joy to explore this topic all month-long with you!
This post is part of my 31 Thoughts on Being a Writer and Mom series. You can find all of the posts in this series here.