Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flipping the switch

One of my biggest writing challenges is my struggle to make the transition from Mom mode to Writer mode. I schedule some of my writing time during my daughter's nap (my son has quiet playtime then), and I often have trouble leaving behind all of the stresses of the day in order to concentrate on my writing. Instead of working on my WIP, I'll find myself making a store list or doing laundry or just sitting in front of the computer thinking about the meltdown my kids had at storytime or what I need to do to get dinner on the table on time. All of these thoughts get tangled up with thoughts about my story and my characters, resulting in a snarl of ideas that seems impossible to sort out in those few precious moments of writing time.

Certainly this struggle isn't unusual, and I'm sure that all writers, whether they stay at home with their kids or work outside (or inside) their homes, have similar struggles. One thing I've been trying to do to ensure better productivity is to schedule more writing time early in the morning, when the house is still quiet and the stresses of the day haven't yet had a chance to become forefront in my mind. I've been scheduling this morning time since the beginning of April, and although it's been working well, I would like to be able to get even writing done at different times throughout the day. However, flipping that switch from Mommy mode to Writer mode is proving to be very difficult, and I'm not yet sure how to overcome that challenge.

I'm curious. How do you put aside other thoughts so that you can fully concentrate on your writing?


  1. the stage you are in is the most difficult. the little ones are the most demanding right now and you use your down time evaluating what has happened and make a plan for needs to get done and the nap is over! this will lessen as they get older. possible solutions: get up earlier, work wen they are in bed, get a sitter!

  2. I haven't been doing a fabulous job of setting aside my thoughts this week! Normally it's not much of a chore to tell myself, "Writing first, other stuff second." Seeing it as the obstacle I have to pass to get to the treat of goofing off tends to really help.

    I should probably start preparing a back-up plan, though, for weeks like this. I think I've written 1,200 words in my projects all week. :/

  3. Tara: Thanks for the possible solutions. I'm starting to think that what I really need to do is just relax a little, write as much as I can each day, and remember that my kids are young and need me. Thanks for reminding me of that!

    Deb: "Writing first, other stuff second"--I wish I could be more like this, especially when the "other stuff" is laundry! LOL And don't sell yourself short: 1,200 words is great!