Making Do

February 3, 2012

Last year at this time, I was finishing up a long term subbing job. From the end of that job in mid-February to some time this summer, I stayed home and had a fairly regular writing routine. I wrote for the 1-3 hours my son would nap. Occasionally, I might clean the house instead of write, or if Hubby was home, we might spend the day out of the house, but my writing time was pretty much set and it was a nice, large chunk of time.

I’m not sure why or even exactly when, but sometime in late summer my son started having sleep issues. And, if you’re a Mom you know, a one and a half year old with sleep issues equals a Mom with sleep issues. And, I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy and in that lovely morning sickness haze. Suddenly that stretch of time that was once devoted to writing (and allowed me to write a first and second draft of a novel in 2 months time) was devoted to just getting through the day.

While morning sickness eventually dissipated, my son’s sleep issues didn’t. Here we are some five months later and I still haven’t regained that routine (and with a second child getting ready to make his appearance in a month and a half, I don’t see that changing any time soon). I had gotten so used to that routine of chunks at a time to write, I felt like I couldn’t write without an hour or two to myself.

I’m finally FINALLY seeing that’s not the case. I saw a random tweet in my twitter feed one day about doing 100 word sprints. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but the idea stuck with me that day and the next day while my son was running trains up and down my legs, I thought… I could probably sneak in 100 words on my IPad while I play human railroad track.

And I was right. I got 500 words that day in those little 100 word sprints. In the week since, I’ve written 2,500 words. Sure, I used to pump that out in a day, but my life doesn’t support that kind of output right now, and that’s okay.

What I’m trying to remember is that life is going to constantly change, and if I want to be a professional writer, using those changes as an excuse isn’t going to work. Whether I’m writing for hours at a time or in 10 minute snatches, it doesn’t matter, as long as I keep writing.



4 Responses to “Making Do”

  1. Ah, Nicole, the joys of writing around the demands of motherhood. A lot of my stories have been written like that, one short, snatched burst at a time. Sometimes that’s all I can manage, but like you said, at least it’s writing.

    Good luck with the new baby 🙂

  2. Summer Says:

    Bravo, Nicole, keep going.

  3. Good for you! Being resilient is an important piece of the author puzzle. 🙂


  4. nicolehelm Says:

    Thanks for the comments, ladies!

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