For Moms Who Write, Time Management Is A Process

And you could probably say the same for all moms of young children!

My schedule today does not resemble the schedule I kept when my daughter was born. Back then, the lion’s share of my energy went into mothering, but I made time for writing and teaching, as much as I could.

When Samantha turned one, two, three, four, five, six…my schedule kept changing and evolving. Gradually, as she grew, the amount of time for my career also grew. That’s why the subtitle for my book is: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids. Because careers can grow as kids grow.

Today, I work full time so it might be hard for my students to envision me where they are, typically with very young children at home. And they probably wouldn’t believe me if I said, “Wow, those early years really flew by.”

Of course, it seems that way now. That’s just life and the kinds of tricks that memory plays.

Today, I am editing a 60,000-word book. I am teaching two classes. I am publishing and editing two monthly e-zines. I write several articles each month. I host a monthly author series at the local library. I speak at writing-related events. Today I am a full-time writing professional.

But it doesn’t seem that long ago that I worked part-time. That I didn’t feel very professional at all. That I was frustrated that I wasn’t further along with my writing than I was.

Until I finally made a commitment to take my writing more seriously.

Commitment is what makes time management for mom writers work. It’s an act of will. Of determination to claim a writing career despite…whatever is going on kid-wise, family-wise, life-wise.

There will always be things going on. I don’t need to tell moms that. And time management for moms more closely resembles Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride than anything else.

The turning point for me was a decision. It was a commitment I made to myself—that my daughter would have a mother who actually did what she said she wanted to do.

Today she does. You will all find your own internal motivators.

Also keep in mind that I took everything I learned about combining motherhood and writing and everything I could gather up from other writing moms and poured it in Writer Mama.

I’m proud of that book. It’s a darn good book. And I hope it will spark some ideas for you.

10 Responses to “For Moms Who Write, Time Management Is A Process”

  1. 1 nathalie May 15, 2008 at 10:21 am

    It’s a damn good book!! A delicious blend of “dream it, do it, here’s how.” I like just seeing it on my counter/nightstand/front seat of car/sticking out of the diaper bag as a reminder of my INTENTION and COMMITMENT to my professional goals. Since I’ve started reading it I’ve published my first newspaper column (a dream I’ve had since 4th grade) and landed a special section writing contract. I totally agree that it’s a matter of determining your own values, making a commitment and keeping an evolving schedule to reach those goals. You are awesome and inspiring!! Thanks for doing what you do and sharing the details, inside out.

  2. 2 Mary Jo C. May 15, 2008 at 11:44 am

    “…a mother who actually did what she said she wanted to do.”

    Great line and speaks volumes. Something I try to repeat when the mother’s guilt wants to weave into the alotted writing time.

    Your book, your class, your ezines and blog have been an enourmous comfort and confidant for this writer mama!!

    Thanks Christina!
    ~ Mary Jo

  3. 3 Harmony May 15, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you for the inspiring post. This is my second go around at trying to freelance full-time and this time I have the drive and commitment to make it work.

  4. 4 pixiedevil May 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I was just thinking about this today that is so weird…
    In the midst of finishing a chapter and digging my way through a mountain of laundry I thought to myself
    Thanks so much for your tips!

  5. 5 stacey May 15, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you so much for all of these thoughts… all very inspiring but the idea of being a mom who did what she said she wanted to do is huge… this may help me to make an important shift.

  6. 6 Mrs. Jones (aka Sugar) May 15, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    So, I don’t have a 60k book to edit… but I do have stacks of laundry and 466 photos to process. Not to mention the kids and the beautiful spring weather calling. It’s just about impossible to stay on task!

    I wanted to THANK YOU for all your encouragement in my WPSS class, in your book and on this blog. I just got a call from a friend saying that she really appreciated the article I had written about taking pictures outdoors. I was like “HUH?” She went on to tell me how much she liked the Tips from the Pros section, too. I was still like “HUH?” Then I turned to the Lifestyle section of the local paper. There in black bold print was my article with my BY-LINE! Woo Hoo!

    Thanks for writing your book. I would have died thinking I could have done this writing thing… and would never have known what it felt like to read a by-line that was NOT from the high school paper.

  7. 7 anniegirl1138 May 15, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Good post and timely for me. Thanks.

  8. 8 Cheryl M May 19, 2008 at 9:53 am

    I have been hoping that the part-time stuff I’m doing now can be expanded as my kids get older. You are my inspiration!

  9. 9 ShannonD June 5, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I lack the confidence to explore this part of myself (the desire to write). Being a mom seems to embody the selfless ideal. I wonder if my reluctance to make a commitment to writing is really about my lack of confidence in myself, and the selfless role is just a socially acceptable excuse . . . convenient self-deception? This is my first posting to a website ever! I guess the article has sparked something. Thanks.

  1. 1 Rabia Gale » Blog Archive » linkatopia Trackback on April 19, 2009 at 11:25 am
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