Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guest post:Brandy Jellum

For the next week or two, I'm going to feature some guest posters who are writing about their take on balancing their lives as a writer and a mommy.  My first poster is Brandy Jellum, a member of my critique group.  She currently has two really exciting works in progress:  Race Wars, and A Witch's War.  I have an ulterior motive here.  I'm looking for tips, as I have a hard time balancing my two roles of family gal, and Indie Author.  Anybody interested in writing a post, email me at anneconleyauthor@gmail.com.

So you want to write?

For some of us that is easier said than done. For some, they have the luxury of writing as their full time job and have all the time in the world to do it. For others, quite like myself, it is one of the most difficult things I have ever encountered. When I started writing just a little over a year ago, all I could think was “Wow, this isn't as hard as I thought.”. Boy was I wrong. Being a mother of not one, not two, not three, but four children all in different stages of their lives is no easy task in itself.

We have Ms. Diva, the pre-teen middle schooler who thinks that the world literally rises and sets with her. That she knows everything and anything and rolls her eyes at you every chance she gets. Next, we have the 2nd grader, wild and rambunctious, who has started to become quite a trouble maker himself. We move on to the 4 year old drama queen, who thinks everything means the world is coming to an end. Quite seriously. Everyday is a global meltdown day at least five times throughout the day, and that's on a good day. Finally, we have the 19 month old, who is trying his best at pushing limits. Climbing out of his playpen by the age of 1, to climbing over the baby gates, jumping out of the bay window and into EVERYTHING. So yeah, writing with children is quite a difficult one. The newest development is, is whenever I have my laptop or notebook out, Mr. Daredevil himself, is at it at once. Either he's trying to slam the top of the computer closed so I can't write or trying to slam the keyboard. If I'm using pen and paper, he's relentlessly trying to take them out of my hands and throwing them on the ground. It's like he knows mommy is trying to write and it's not okay.

Most days, I end up quitting before I even get started.

While the older two kids in school, my days are usually less hectic. I tell myself each and everyday as soon as Mr. Daredevil takes a nap, I will sit down and write. That never happens. Once he is asleep, I realize I need to utilize whatever amount of time I have to do house work. It's never-ending between doing the dishes, washing laundry, figuring out dinner, and vacuuming. The list goes on. Once I finally finish doing house chores, I sometimes manage a little time to write. Just as I get into my writing and everything is moving along, the words are freely writing themselves, it's time to pick up the oldest from school. When all the kids are at home, there's homework, dinner, bath time, and bed time. As well as hitting, biting, arguing, thrashing the house I just spent all day trying to clean, attitudes and just not wanting to listen.
Then there is also work. On top of parenting four children and trying to write, I work 25-35 hours a week at our local Target. It is my home away from home, I don't feel like suffocating. Some of my best ideas have actually come to me while at work. The only problem is, when an idea strikes, I can't just stop what I am doing to jot down an idea or to write. By the time I get a break/ lunch break, I lost the idea altogether.

Writing is so hard.

But somehow, someway, I manage to make it work. I am able to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. I may not write as often as I would like but I get it done. Granted, there are times where I don't write for several days at all. That's okay though. Because when I finally manage some down time in this hectic life of mine, the writing is beautiful. I come with a fresh pair of eyes. In the past year, I've managed to get to the final editing/revision stage for one work in progress. I'm half-way through the first rough draft of another work in progress. And just yesterday I started a new work in progress, which I am entirely thrilled about. 

Thankfully, there are some days where I can slip my headphones on, blast Imagine Dragons or Mozart, sometimes I even listen to some good ol' Frank Sinatra or even the soundtrack to Glee, whatever I am in the mood for and I just write until I can't write anymore. I'm lucky to have my husband home at night now to where I can do this. 

So what I am trying to say is that if I can do it, there is no reason why you can't do it. Have kids? No biggie. Have a full time job? Ah, that's nothing. In school? Who cares. If you truly, truly want to be a writer and write a book, then do it. Don't do it with the idea of becoming a famous author, don't do it for the money, because honestly, you may never make much off your books. Don't hope to have your book turned into a movie, because really what are the chances that will will happen. 

Do it for yourself.

Give yourself that one thing that is truly yours and yours alone. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. I know I am. Seriously, I'm a mother of four, a wife, a maid, a cook, a nanny, a nurse, all combined into one. As well as working outside of my home. And I'm only 23 years old. 

I make the time where ever I can squeeze it in because writing is something I truly love doing. Some days are just harder than others.

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