Managing Kids, Writing And Insanity

It’s school holidays.

My son is chasing his sister around the house with a broomstick.

I’ll intervene shortly, but I wanted to capture the insanity in its wildest moment. I asked for just one hour. One hour of tranquility to write so that I could give the rest of the day to them, satisfied, no begrudged feelings.

Ahem. One moment please…

Broomstick is back in the laundry where it belongs. Trip to ice-cream parlour is cancelled. House is quiet again.

They were sent to bed early last night after a supposed ‘play-fight’ ended with my son wearing an icepack on his private parts. I managed to write a thousand words, punishment couldn’t have been more suitable – all round.

Don’t get me wrong, I cherish the holidays – all six weeks of them. But it’s not easy finding periods in the day that are long enough to write. Rather I steal disjointed snippets of time between shoving a wash on, taking the kids to the movies, clearing up breakfast, lunch, dinner, a dash to the park. There’s the normal work too, piles of invoices, bills to pay, emails to respond to. When I read over what I have managed to write, it’s rushed and shallow. I haven’t been able to shut off and find that place in my mind that enables me to write freely, imagination flowing.

Perhaps it’s about accepting the school holidays are a write-off, or rather an off-write. Or perhaps it’s about being super organised – even more than usual. Rising before the kids do and stealing that precious hour while the sun rises. Or in the evening when the kids have gone to bed, if your mind is still functioning.

My snippet is already over – my son has squashed up next to me for a cuddle. I know it won’t be long when those are hard to come by, so I’ll have to make the most of it and say goodbye for now.

I’d be really interested to find out how you juggle your writing with the distractions in your life?




Filed under Discipline, WritingTips

6 responses to “Managing Kids, Writing And Insanity

  1. RoseB

    Hi Gemma, it’s the silly season, how do you expect to be sanely working!! Am just catching up on your blogs. I think my new years resolution is Discipline Discipline Discipline!! now that sounds like a book of another sort. I have written one page of my story……..

  2. Gwen

    I get up at an ungodly early hour – that’s how I juggle my writing time. It’s the only time of day my mind is fresh and distractions are nil. Great post!

  3. My issue is that I have all the time in the world and very little discipline. I retired just before Christmas with the starry-eyed notion that I would spend all day at the laptop and so far it hasn’t happened. I have started a sort of schedule although I’ve never been fond of those things. I get up and have my coffee and check my blog, emails etc. until around 10:00 then do a modicum of housework until an early lunch. The afternoon (12-4) is for working on the sequel to my self-published novel then I prepare the evening meal for my wife and I. After dinner I recheck emails etc. then spend the evening going over what I have written during the day. I treat the writing as a part time job and so far it seems to be working but soon the snow will be gone and I’ll have to work lawn-cutting and gardening into the mix. And to answer the question “Have you managed to stick to this schedule?”…nope, but I’m trying.

    • Hi Mike
      Thank you so much for visiting. You are retired – so you are allowed to be undisciplined! Although it sounds to me as though you have your schedule all worked out (I think you’re doing better than me). Thanks for your comments, it’s such a pleasure meeting interesting people from all walks of life.

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