I asked Rhoda Baxter, a published author, how she fits in writing along with everything else us women have to juggle, here in this guest posts she tells us all about it...
Mrs M asked me how I fit in writing with kids and the day job. The answer is – I don’t really know. But that’s not a good enough answer, is it? So here goes.
There are only so many hours in the day. I work four days a week, have two kids to look after and a husband (who doesn’t take much looking after as such, but I do have to talk to him sometimes). I also write novels. So where does the writing fit in? The answer is – anywhere I can.
The first time I went to a writing conference, I met a lot of other women around my age (ish) who have small kids. We compared notes on why we write. We all had the same answer. I write because I’m driven to write. I’m doing it seriously now because it’s the one thing I do for me.
When my Big Girl (now aged 5) was born, I found my life was completely sucked into orbit around her. Me, as I knew me, seemed to have disappeared. Something had to be done. I’d started writing when I left Uni. I finished the first novel while I was on maternity leave (it wasn’t great, it’s still lying in a box waiting for me to hack it up and reassemble), I had other ideas I wanted to write up, but there just didn’t seem any time to do it in. And the need to write was stronger than it had ever been.
When Big Girl was about 6 months old, my husband and I had a chat about reclaiming who we were. He restarted his hobbies (reading, mainly) and I dug out my laptop and spent one hour each night writing (once the kids are in bed, the bottles have been washed, the washing’s been put away etc etc etc). Sometimes I write when I should be sleeping. About once a week, I have a non writing night, when Mr B and I hang out together watching Big Bang Theory and catchup TV.
Whenever I can, I write in my lunchtimes at work, it’s not great for keeping a crumb free desk or getting a break from sitting down, but it helps add a few hundred words to the work in progress.
It’s not easy to get all the real life things done in time to have that last hour each night. There are always more chores to be done than there is time to do them in. I have a load of routines, which help immensely (thank you www.flylady.net). I have a supportive husband, which helps even more (thank you Mr B!).
Some things have to slide. The house looks like ground zero in a toy explosion, no one has ironed clothes, but we can live with that. I don’t go out much, I have no other ‘me time’, I definitely don’t get enough sleep but I can live with that too. Because I get to write books. Some days it’s just another task to do, some days, when my characters aren’t speaking to me, it’s enough to drive me to Calpol. Then there are the days when I write a scene that comes alive – when I can hear it, I can see it and I can’t stop smiling - then there’s nothing in the world like it. I’d put up with all sorts of crap just to have another day like it again.
It’s not that different to bringing up kids, really.
How about you? What’s the thing you’d really like to do, if only you had the time?
I live in East Yorkshire where the weather is variable but the cake shops are excellent. I write contemporary romantic comedy about women with real jobs and heroes with a sense of humour. I have two kids, a husband and a day job in Technology Transfer. The rest of the time I’m a sensible grown up.
You can find me wittering on about writing, science and cake (not all at the same time) on my website www.rhodabaxter.com, or on Twitter (@rhodabaxter). My second novel Having a Ball was released by Uncial Press earlier this year.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Having-Ball-Email-Series-ebook/dp/B00BUEKFX2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372250045&sr=8-1&keywords=rhoda+baxter
Kobo link: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Having-a-Ball/book-Lthyd8qub0i7sy3G90ABDw/page1.html?s=xbv4GyHfj0aAXnm3qZ5qug&r=1
Any other format, including non-DRM: http://www.uncialpress.com/Rhoda-Baxter/
Or, you could borrow it from your ebook lending public library!
As someone who has always had writing ambitions I'm constantly in awe of those people who find the motivation to actually set the wheels in motion and achieve their dreams. One day....