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Are you writing with young children at home? Please come and talk to me!

(43 Posts)
Exhaustipated Thu 08-Aug-13 16:33:23

I am trying to write my first novel with a preschooler and a baby at home. Madness, I know, but I would love any tips/experiences/general chat with anyone who is doing this or has done this...

I have a few hours a week of daytime writing time, plus when the kids are in bed. But I'm always often exhausted by that time, so it's hard. How do others do it? Inspiring stories and moans equally welcome smile

okthen Thu 06-Mar-14 19:31:17

Hi, I am out there... 2 kids aged 4 and 1, a part time (full on!) job.... And for some reason now is the time I decide to write the novel that has been brewing for years!

I write for 1-2 full evenings a week rather than little bits daily. Have resolved to finish it by end of year. Am around 40k words in so it is going well! Hard to motivate myself after kids are in bed, toys cleared away, dinner eaten etc tho...

Weliveinabeautifulworld Tue 25-Feb-14 14:53:30

claudeekishi Hi smile How is your writing going? Do you hand write or compute it?

I use Word so I can find out easily how many words I have written.

I have been so lazy the last 3 days. I should have written 12320 words by now but instead I have only written 11483 ... so I still have 837 words to write by the end of the day to reach my daily target!

claudeekishi Fri 21-Feb-14 10:56:41

That must be a handful! You definitely need one of these! brew Well done.

Weliveinabeautifulworld Fri 21-Feb-14 09:49:51

16mo and 34mo smile

claudeekishi Thu 20-Feb-14 10:00:40

Welive, that is brilliant, a really great achievement. My daily word count target was 500 words but that's not quite as realistic as yours. I'm making a bit of progress though, am probably floating somewhere around the 15-18,000 word count at the moment. Don't want to stop and examine things too much.
How old are your children?

Weliveinabeautifulworld Wed 19-Feb-14 17:54:08

I have kept up with my New Year's resolution to write 220 words per day, so I now have 10,780 words of my novel written grin

claudeekishi Wed 19-Feb-14 08:03:24

<waves into the wilderness>

Just going to bump this every now and then in case there are others out there craving a stint at the desk smile

Small child is currently thwarting my attempts to get up early -- no matter how early and quiet I am getting up she seems to have a special radar. Hope there are some of you out there making progress!

claudeekishi Fri 07-Feb-14 16:35:40

Hello - just bumping to see how everyone's doing. Anybody writing with DC and a job too?

00StoryTeller00 Sun 29-Dec-13 00:38:14

I do a couple if hours a night, whenever possible, when the kids are in bed. You have to snap in and out of it. If I don't write I get very grumpy+ frustrated. Go through phases when I'm too tired, and leave it a few days e.g. when kids are unwell.

BitScary Fri 22-Nov-13 12:20:43

By the way - Exhaustipated how are you doing? Are you getting any writing done?

BitScary Fri 22-Nov-13 08:32:29

Yes to promotion stuff and no to second contract. Mine is a small indie press, indie presses don't tend to do that 3-book contract thing you get with the big publishing houses. More take each book as it comes.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Thu 21-Nov-13 21:59:17

Hmm now I have time I have no more excuses left. Eek.

Have you had to do any promotion stuff bit scarey? Have you got a contract for book two?

BitScary Thu 21-Nov-13 18:28:41

Thanks! Yeah, lots of people have been asking me how it feels and the truth is that not much has changed. Getting on with the next project is vital, it's move on or diegrin
Wish you lots of productivity now you have some time.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Thu 21-Nov-13 17:25:01

Congratulations bit scary! How's it feel?

Youngest dc started school in sept so I've been writing a lot more - only bizarrely I haven't.

It does feel self indulgent sometimes...

Drink, feck, arse - I'm writing sitcom too - or comedy drama(?) pm me if you fancy exchanging ideas, critiquing moaning etc.

BitScary Thu 21-Nov-13 10:46:08

So many writers say that about morning pages, Tunip.
I find the ones who say that aren't usually the mothers of small children wink

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 21-Nov-13 09:19:26

Good luck with the new book BigPaws. It sounds like a long road but it's really only two or three months for the first draft if you do 1000 words a day!

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 21-Nov-13 09:18:12

I don't deliberately get up early to write but if I wake up early I usually can't get back to sleep so I get up and write on the sofa with a blanket round my shoulders until a child gets up and disturbs me. I love those times but they're quite rare because often someone will wake up and come down and demand breakfast and CBeebies.

I did once try the getting up early thing after I read Hilary Mantel saying she found 'morning pages' really useful and wished she'd started it before (you write whatever comes to mind and it's meant to be a good way to access the exciting stuff that's going on in your subconscious) but I found it completely incompatible with kids - getting time before a child wakes up doesn't happen reliably no matter how early I get up, and after the school run I'm just not in a zone where I can relax enough to let random words flow.

BitScary Thu 21-Nov-13 09:03:15

That's really encouraging. Good for you. Great to be in such close contact with an agent.

BigPawsBrown Wed 20-Nov-13 23:23:36

I don't have young children but I am a busy lawyer... My first novel failed over the summer to get an agent after many full requests but I'm amazed one seems to want to mentor me writing another book, so that's what I'm doing. I prefer to set a word count goal every day as if I say I'll write for an hour I often just sit there. Trying to do 800-1000 words every day; currently at 4,490 of the first draft. Long road ahead!

BitScary Wed 20-Nov-13 20:54:25

I know what you mean Tunip.

Ah yes there's nothing doing for the self-confidence thing only to just get over oneself and get going!

Does anybody do the getting up early to write thing? I love it anytime I do it, but just getting out of bed on these wintry mornings is tough. Must try harder.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 20-Nov-13 13:55:25

I find I can turn the lack of confidence round so it's a driver, BitScary. I always assume everyone else is more talented than me so I need to work harder.
Then if I'm wrong, no harm done!

BitScary Wed 20-Nov-13 13:47:34

Oh that sounds cool, Drink. Have you been writing long?

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 20-Nov-13 13:43:01

Hi, I'm Drink and I'm writing my first sit-com with a toddler. grin Tbh honest I use the time when she's at the nursery and I am, erm, working. Self-employed though so not ripping anyone's time off.

BitScary Wed 20-Nov-13 13:08:28

Hello again. Well, the book is out in the world now and I'm trying to keep my head down and get working on some new bits and pieces. I am back working at the day job too and of course now the balance is the other way -- I feel more tied to that.

Sometimes, though, I think the biggest obstacle for me to overcome is not that of DC or day job: it is that of a laziness prompted, I think, by the 'who cares' factor. I only have one DC and if I try I can find the time to write. Finding a way to be disciplined or to push myself is harder. There are so many things housework that 'need' doing. It can be hard to convince myself that the writing 'needs' doing. So I think that this laziness or hesitation also stems from a lack of self confidence


something that is IME so linked to women writers, perhaps women writers with small children in particular.

Not sure what I'm trying to say, really...Acknowledging all this is helpful, though!

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 19-Nov-13 15:15:52

I'll join your support thread! DC are 5&2 but in USA where school doesn't start til 5yo. I can definately carve the time out to write - even if it's just half an hour a day, but the motivation thanks to sleep deprivation is the killer. I know I can't write do anything vaguely productive in the evenings so need to create time in the day

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