Monday, April 27, 2015

Ready, set, go: Creative writing on a busy mom's schedule

As a busy mother of two very energetic little boys, I have to be very judicious with how I spend my free time. As an aspiring career author I am allotted very little kid free time to work on my novels and to do marketing and promotions for my book, Seasons.

So how do I make the best of my time and effectively grow my business and network with other professionals?

  • Stick to a writing schedule and make sacrifices you can live with. 
I schedule my writing time for the days my children are in school and mother's day out. This works out to be seven hours a week. I treat this time like I would a clock-in/clock-out job. I don't call in sick, take personal calls, or anything else not related to building my business. I also try and allocate a few hours a week for writing during the time my littles are in bed.  I find that this is not my most productive time however, and often have to balance work time and time spent with my spouse, as this is often our only time together.

People often say to me, "I don't know how you find time to write. I don't have a spare minute to give." I think for most people this is hogwash. How much time do you spend watching netflix, trolling Facebook and twitter or playing wordswithfriends (or whatever game is the in thing now)? There is always time. The real question is what are you willing to sacrifice to do what it is you say you want to do but don't have time for?

I've had to let some things slide and have given up shopping alone, going to the doctors alone or having lunch with friends. I have also let laundry sit in the basket longer than I had in the past. I am also very behind on the latest hit TV shows. So no, I don't know what is happening on Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black, but I am 1/3 of the way through my second novel. I like to think when I look back years from now that I  wont regret the little things that got neglected and will instead see a wonderful collection of books that I can be proud of. On that note I do reward myself when I accomplish a major task.

  • Network and work at places with other professionals (coffee shops or coworking spaces). 
When I was writing my first novel I was lucky to meet someone who had a successful Indy writing career. She mentored me through the process of publishing and marketing my novel. Having someone to mentor you in a new venture is VITAL. I have also met various other professionals while working at a local coffee shop. One of those people was starting a coworking space by my home. So now on my kid free days I network with other coworking professionals and get all of my marketing and writing done there.

If you haven't heard of co-working, you should really check it out! I love Orange Coworking. It is a cute space with coffee, snacks, comfortable seating, meeting rooms, high speed internet and interesting entrepreneurs to network with. It is great for me since I can't get distracted by dishes and laundry that is waiting to be done. It is my office and gets me in the office mindset.

In closing, don't work in a bubble, do what you love by making meaningful sacrifices and protect the time that you can eek out. What have you always wanted to do, but feel like you don't have the time for? What can you give up to make it happen? Chime in!

KM Hodge author of the Syndicate Suspense Series.
 Book #1 Seasons is available for free on Kindle Unlimited

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