I sat down to work on writing my story.
I had the 1.5-year-old solidly in my lap, flailing a balloon around and giggling.
The 8-year-old was listening to her favorite song on repeat.
The 4-year-old and 6-year-old were running around the darkened living room with a flashlight.
When all of a sudden it hit me that I was actually pulling it off.
Oh sure, my story wasn’t exactly progressing quickly, considering that I had to periodically move a balloon out of my face and all, but it was progressing. Despite all the chaos, I was actually getting some writing done.
And all I can feel is an awestruck sense of, “Wow.”
Once upon a time, I used to pray for the planets to align with nap times and quiet hours, then struggled with frustration when day after day refused to turn out the way I wanted it to. Finally, while my third was still a baby, I decided that I had enough and set my mind on writing Light Eternal, rain or shine.
That was late 2016. I finished the second draft a year later, then hung on to it for awhile out of indecision before officially publishing it in 2019. Phew.
In 2018 I had my fourth baby, and shortly afterwards started telling The Black Magus to myself during all the hours and hours and hours that I spent nursing. It wasn’t long before I figured out how to keep baby propped up on the pillow so I could write it down while the other children played video games. I am currently finishing the final proofread.
Some days, I have a harder time tuning out the noise and distractions, and having all the kids around probably isn’t helping me produce the highest quality of writing, but I have become a strong believer in persistence (and editing). It may take me forever to finish a novel, but progress is progress.
I’m blogging about this because I want other moms with small children to know that they can still have hobbies, without hiring a nanny or enlisting an army of babysitters. Guess what? You can still feel like a person with hopes and dreams, even with all the vacuuming and diaper changes.
You just need to find your zen, so to speak. Honestly evaluate what you’ve got to work with, and let go of the perfect scenarios that just aren’t going to happen. Find the spare time in between activities, and utilize it instead of killing it.
And I know: it’s hard. It took me eight years to get to this point, but I did it. Don’t ever give up.