Q & A - What’s the best way to start writing when I have toddlers and preschoolers?

changing seasons q & a Oct 29, 2019

On the fifth week of the month I answer reader questions. Feel free to send them via social media or email.

What’s the best way to start writing when I have toddlers and preschoolers?

Two words: stolen moments.

When you have young children, life can be crazy without even trying. If you work full time or homeschool, your schedule can be overloaded and overwhelming. The best way to accomplish anything during these busy times is to look for pockets of calm, set a timer, and write for ten to fifteen minutes each day.

Writers often overlook the benefits of shorts bursts of creativity. If you outline your topic on Monday, then write for 15 minutes each day, many women can complete a thousand words or more a week. If you are able to sneak in a thousand words a week that can add up to a 50,000-word in a year. Fifty-thousand words is the length of an average book!

Use the time during mundane tasks, like folding clothes or washing dishes, to consider and think through what you want to write, your topics, niche, and general goals. Afterwards, take a few minutes in quieter moments to jot down notes about each. When you have a specific direction, create a schedule of topics, and start writing bite-by-bite.

I recognize not every woman can easily squeeze in writing time. If you genuinely want to write, you'll find a way. One woman I know set up her computer at the kitchen counter and wrote five minutes at a time when her three boys were little. Others hire a babysitter for a couple hours each week. Is there a mom you could trade kiddos with a few hours? Could Dad or Grandma help out each day?

Whatever you choose, find your rhythm and go for it. As children get older, their needs change and your roll in their life transforms. Parenting never gets easier, it just get different. Learn to harness those stolen moments when your children are small. Let them nurture your writing dreams. That will help you heart be full when your nest finally becomes empty. 

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