Balancing My Family and Writing Life

Today I returned from my trip to Pittsburgh where I spent my time visiting my various relatives. My parents picked my husband’s father and I from the airport and drove him to the cemetery whereΒ  his wife is buried, took him to his house, and then dropped him off at his assisted living facility. I love and regard him as a father figure, so I wanted to make him happy.

My parents also wanted to spend time with me since I was only in town for five days, so I spent a great deal of time driving my mother around the town shopping. And that was Okay. My novels revolve around close family relationships, and the issues I deal with help me write tender scenes that I’d miss out on without these experiences.

Now that I’m home, writing will become my priority again as I ponder various family relationships in my novels. Spending precious time with my seven and ten year old sons as their summer vacation begins in one week will have to be weaved into my writing/editing time.

How do you strike a balance between writing and family/work obligations? Do you have any secrets that may help me?

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6 thoughts on “Balancing My Family and Writing Life

  1. Honestly, family comes first every time so writing gets put on the back burner a lot. I’m okay with that. I write when I can and that is my balance. πŸ™‚

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  2. hmmmm. secrets?? pls do tell if you find any!! πŸ™‚

    Really, for me the only thing that works is scheduled time. My three are still young so I’ve been using a sitter (my joyous wonderful mom!!), ususally 3 times a week, for a two hour shot. Now, that may not seem like much to most writers, but it’s enough for me right now. Good luck, Jennifer!

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  3. Secrets? There’s a secret? πŸ˜‰

    I’m with Jennifer, you can get a lot done in two hours. Although I don’t always achieve it, I’m amazed at what can be done in 15 minutes, if I’m really committed to focusing. Bit by bit the story grows, or the edits get made.

    If you’ve never read Brenda Ueland’s “If You Want To Write”, I highly recommend it. One thing she talks about is setting an appointment to help yourself overcome resistance (which helps you focus when you do get those 15 or 20 minutes). You tell yourself, at Xpm today I’m going to write for 15 minutes. Then no matter what, you write. Clearly for a mom with small children, you have to alter that somewhat, but I think there are times children are less likely to need our immediate attention, so you can pick that as your time, but if the phone rings, or you “must” file that hangnail, or whatever, a X o’clock, you write.

    ok, maybe there is a secret πŸ˜‰

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    • I’ve tried setting X o’clock as a time to write only to have anxiety set in as to writing the perfect lines, or editing for the final time. I’m too much of a free spirit to write on a schedule, so maybe I should get up at midnight and write/edit the ideas that spring through my head instead of sleeping, lol.

      But I’m still hoping there’s a secret…. πŸ™‚

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