Friday, May 9, 2008

Writing with Kids

I've been remiss in posting here. Why? I spent half of April doing my taxes because I’d procrastinated. Then I had to catch up.

Once the tax returns were sent out, I was busy chauffeuring my daughter to the Regina Music Festival. We live one hour from the city and she was entered in 5 classes. That was 4 separate trips because they scheduled one class per day except for the last one.

While chauffeuring, I found that reading author, editor and agent blogs and adding comments are great time fillers. It’s not that I had a lot of extra time, it’s just that I had smaller portions of it between activities.

I belong to an ACFW critique group with 3 other ladies and we’re busy emailing chapters back and forth. But I won’t read a chapter if I haven’t got at least an hour to devote to critiquing it. So I’m about 5 chapters behind with those.

Some writers have a goal of 1 page a day. Or 150 words per day. I can’t write like that. I need a couple hours at a time – big chunks of time so that I can engross myself in my story and get into the heads of my characters. And I don’t like interruptions. So, I’m mucho chapters behind in my writing.

In order to make up the time, I tried carrying my laptop down to my bedroom and closing the door. And I tried staying in the living room but putting ear plugs in. Both of these methods were effective for my writing. However, I realized somewhere at the start of May that I was depriving myself of something important.

My kids.

The 3 kids I still have at home are aged 9-17 yrs. And except for youth related church activities or lessons in the city, they’re usually home every evening.

Think about that. My pre-tween to teen kids voluntarily stay home every evening. They’re not out with their friends on the streets. They’re not begging us to take them to the movies. They’re not hanging out at the mall. They’re at home where it’s safe. With us, their parents.

They get home from school at 4 and they’re off to bed by 10. That’s 6 hrs that I have to shower them with love and I’ve been ignoring them. Not good.

At the beginning of May, I came to a decision. While the kids are home, I won’t have anything to do with writing unless I’m under a deadline. I won’t play around with a deadline because it’s a commitment that I’ve made and it should be honoured.

So, in the evenings now, I’m there with the kids, in the living room. And they basically ignore me. Until it’s a commercial. Or until they finish their game. But then they immediately turn to me for my attention. And now, I’m there, ready for them.

I always did my best writing between 10 pm and 3 am anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Come on, tell me what you think...