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Author Zone - Readers Welcome! > Juggling Work, Kids and Writing

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message 1: by Nigel (new)

Nigel Bird (nigelbird) | 195 comments I was grateful to Eric Beetner for asking a set of questions related to holding down a job and writing (not to mention looking after the children).

It's all about juggling, or trying to.

http://ericbeetner.blogspot.co.uk/201...

Any thoughts or tips?

nigel


message 2: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Egan (jsegan) | 115 comments I got up at 4am every day for a year to write The Ghost of Mandy Rosental. It nearly killed me. I guess it was worth it, but I don't plan on doing it again soon!


message 3: by Nigel (new)

Nigel Bird (nigelbird) | 195 comments 4am? Every day? That deserves a medal. How would you do it next time if you're not planning on repeating that?


message 4: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Egan (jsegan) | 115 comments Honestly... I dunno! I've written the first page of a new book, and the rest is in my head; but after the 'year of hell' I'm just focusing on my day job and on being a dad this year.


message 5: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 2467 comments I juggled some kids once, but the child protection services weren't very pleased when I dropped them.


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2335 comments Nigel wrote: "I was grateful to Eric Beetner for asking a set of questions related to holding down a job and writing (not to mention looking after the children).

It's all about juggling, or trying to.

http://e..."


Aargh.
As a mum, I think 'having Wednesdays off' to take care of the kids would have been an interesting take on parenting. So who does the other six days?
Having spent my life working, bringing up kids, managing the home and supporting my husband's business, oh and writing, that kind of discipline is a joke. Noone is out there asking us to write: it is a self indulgence. And just do not get me started on who is looking after the elderly parents all this time...
Apologies for being in Grumpy mode, but that is the reality for most of us.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Nice one, Karen.

To be honest, I've been avoiding posting on this thread, not because it made me grumpy but because it pissed me off.

It's frightening that still, in this day, some men see parenting as something that requires scheduling.


message 8: by J.S. (last edited Jun 05, 2012 02:52AM) (new)

J.S. Egan (jsegan) | 115 comments Patti (Stir Crazy) wrote: "Nice one, Karen.

To be honest, I've been avoiding posting on this thread, not because it made me grumpy but because it pissed me off.

It's frightening that still, in this day, some men see parent..."


I agree with you - it was the WRITING I scheduled, not the parenting!


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Heck, when you've got little ones running about, even having a shower requires scheduling and pre-planning. ;)


message 10: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Very true... I remember when Ollie was teeny, going out was like moving house ! Had to make sure you had everything for every emergency situation you could think of !


message 11: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1791 comments Blimey, it's hard enough for me to juggle the day job, acting and writing. If I had anything more demanding than a cat to take care of, I think I'd go completely bananas!


message 12: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Fair enough Andrew. I do understand people that decide not to have children in order to carry on with their career and hobbies, once you have children, your priorities have to change drastically sometimes...


message 13: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 853 comments I actually started writing because I had kids! We'd just adopted our second son. It had taken three years of paperwork, social worker visits and general stress and when we finally got him home, I felt bereft of all that pressure...so I took a writing course!

Needless to say, I never finished the course, but it did whet my appetite for writing. When the kids were small, I'd write during their naps and at night. Now they're older, I get more time, though I've had to learn to write through constant interuptions.


message 14: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments Kids are first, job comes second and any time that's left over is for the housework. Assuming that there's a spare five minutes, I might get a few words down.

Fortunately, I currently don't need that much sleep so I do get a bit of time to myself at the end of the day, but sometimes I open the laptop and close my eyes.

Ah well.


message 15: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Sinclair | 985 comments This is familiar. I have a mildly demanding job. I'm not saving any lives or anything but I come home shattered every day and after shopping, making tea and showering I generally nod off on the couch watching tele. Even if I do switch on the laptop to write I find myself simply staring at the screen because I look at computers all day.

And I don't have kids! God only knows how parents ever write anything, unless you leave them places and write until the police bring them home! (I'm joking of course, please don't be offended. We all know the police have better things to do).

Writing is an indulgence, but for most of us it's a necessary outlet for all sorts of things. The wife and I have actually discussed me taking a year off to write and see where it goes but I suspect I'd feel so much pressure to write, and so guilty about not earning, that I'd get nothing done.


message 16: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2335 comments Jamie wrote: "This is familiar. I have a mildly demanding job. I'm not saving any lives or anything but I come home shattered every day and after shopping, making tea and showering I generally nod off on the cou..."

Yep, just wanted to say I know how you feel Jamie.


message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21943 comments I've found the biggest boost to my writing time is not having a TV.
Saying that the 'kids'have left home so they aren't demanding one


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2335 comments Trouble is, tho I watch v few progs on TV, I do have a computer, and find myself spending rather longer than intended on internet forums... but at least now I can call it networking :)


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21943 comments It can be a problem, because 'you're networking' or 'marketing the book' or 'learning how amazon actually works'
Frankly I'm not sure how useful most marketing is

Some reminded me of Robert Heinlein’s business rules. His rules are:

1) You must write.
2) You must finish what you write.
3) You must not rewrite unless to editorial demand.
4) You must mail your work to someone who can buy it.
5) You must keep the work in the mail until someone buys it.

If you're doing the first five (which is kindle and self publishing is easier and harder) you can then start selling.
I think that means telling different people, I don't think it means repeatedly telling the same people :-)


message 20: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Jay (LKJay) | 14 comments I don't have children but I do have to fit my writing around work, which can be quite tricky at times, especially when work can drop things on me at the last minute. Thing is, we all need to live and eat, so having a full time job is a necessity, especially if you are single.
I wrote a blog post about it, hope you enjoy it.
http://lkjaywriter.blogspot.co.uk/201...


message 21: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21943 comments An interesting blog post. Having family in 'the profession' I know what teaching (to choose a ficticious example purely at random) can do to someones 'out of school time'.
The fact you manage to write at all is an achievement, but on the other hand, you'll have so many good stories that when you finally do walk out of the door for the last time, you'll have books pouring out of you for the rest of your life :-))


message 22: by Debra (new)

Debra Edwards | 32 comments Juggling, spinning plates... As I sit here reading another teacher's reports, mounting work for display, analysing another teacher's planning, I have to remind myself that I am actually an author! Writing seems so far away at the moment and work just too close for comfort. At least I have the knowledge that summer holidays are only three weeks away and at that point I become a full time writer, at last!


message 23: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2335 comments Fortunately I'd just finished a typescript and it's away with the proofreader, but Life has now elbowed its way in so I just have not had time to work on the cover and blurb. Not children, but parents - elderly/frail/v poorly & in hospital in various combinations.


message 24: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 210 comments I'm sharing your pain on this topic. When I start regular writing again I'll tell you how I did it. Until then...


message 25: by M.T. (last edited Aug 12, 2012 02:39PM) (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 7688 comments I have one kid. A little lad of 4. He is a complete delight but I simply cannot write when he's around because, even for a boy, he's lively. Also, by the time he's gone to bed - or first thing - I'm just too blitzed to do it. So I've written and published two books in sleep times and then nursery hours.

In September, McMini goes to school so I hope to start doing some lectures and try to get into schools. I'll start locally and if I can I'll gradually move out to areas a bit further away...

At the moment, it's the summer holidays so I am about 5 weeks into an 8 week mortorioum on all writing. I have managed a few bits and I've made plot notes but to be honest, the best thing to do is to relax and enjoy the little one. Any time to write is pure gravy.

Getting up at 4 am is amazing. I would die. I do have a little time to write in the evenings but by then my brain is just fried. My folks are not too good either... my Dad hasn't the best short term memory, my Mum is coping on her own, they're miles away and with McMini, I can't help them the way I have always assumed I would. They are completely chilled about it but I am torn and I suppose, emotionally, I'm not in the right place to write quite a lot of the times when I actually could.

Or, in short, there are glaciers which move faster than progress on my books. I proceed with the speed of an asthmatic tortoise on beta blockers.

Anyone here who is finding it hard... I sympathise.

In my experience, keeping the emotional outlook calm is key to... well any production at all to be honest. If you can do that, then when you do get those few moments to yourself, you can produce something meaningful.

Hang in there everyone. You are not alone.

Cheers

MTM


message 26: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2335 comments Hi, MTM - I recognise all of that!

Even with things the way they are here at the mo, I am still determined to get the cover designed and the blurb written for the Next Book. That creative space is vital - even if it does get squeezed.


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