3 Ways to Create, even with a kid.

I find that there are too often times that I can't write. Such as, after work my daughter usually has to be fed, then entertained or she'll slam her fist into my laptop and then I have to start the bedtime routine of bathtime, bottletime and bedtime. Usually I'm so exhausted that I fall asleep with her still in bed with me and wake up to my alarm clock still clothed. Seriously.

But there are so many excuses and they're all valid! I was once the best-friend of a time-vampire/drama queen. When I think that being a parent is hard, I just remember being her friend and parenting gets easier.

What do we know?

Sometimes, writing is an activity that is impossible because we're on the bus without a pen or paper, we've got a child that will spill apple juice on our computer to get our attention or we've got a household pet that would most likely rip up anything we wrote anyways. The point isn't to struggle and fit writing into the crannies of time we have. Instead, it has to be a way of thinking.

If we want to write, all we're doing is creating a written or verbal piece of art. So, find the solutions to it.

Here are some ways I've been able to find the ability to write/create:

1. I bought a voice recorder. Anytime I'm in the car, waiting in a lineup or at home with my destructive kid, I pull out the voice recorder. A black thing the size of two lipsticks is a lot less interesting to a kid since it doesn't have flashy lights, a full-color screen or games. Plus its fast. If she comes at me with that ninja speed she's known for, I just speak really quickly. Or, in lineups/public I whisper into it.

2. My notebook. Most writers who've met me in person will know that I have and am a huge advocate for The Writer's Notepad. It's this little notebook you keep with you at all times and write all your ideas in until you have the time to review them or write them out. This also works for those that are mentally blocked with regards to "idea generation" or have "writer's block," which I don't believe in anymore.

3. Get your kid in on it. Sometimes when I really have to write a scene, I pull out two lined notebooks. One is for my daughter to scribble in, and the other is mine. Then, she gets to do her monkey see, monkey do act while mommy gets to write down her ideas.

Another way to apply this principle is what I did early on: I bought my daughter one of those vTech computers for toddlers ($20 new). When I sit down at my laptop she comes running to play with it. But I've taught her that she has her own computer and she can play with it while mommy is on hers. This worked really well recently on my trip to Dawson Creek when I wanted to get a blog post in on it.

Hope this helped anyone struggling to "find time." I sincerely believe that no one can ever find time, but rather make it.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Good call, and I appreciate the perspective! Sometimes its hard work to fit it in, but it's what we do!