Writing is a time-consuming activity. One that requires solitude, focus, and just the right space to encourage the flow of ideas. Which is why being a mother who writes can be such a challenge. Motherhood is mostly devoid of solitude or silence which means a lack of focus. And finding the right space to inspire the flow of ideas usually means being just a tad more creative than usual.
As a mother who writes and edits, I can assure you that being a mother who writes is doable. Some of the famous writers we love are mothers. We only need a rewiring of the way we think about our lives as writers so that we can fit our writing schedule around the schedules of our children. With time, you'll see how amazing it is that the very people who lead us to rethink our writing are oftentimes the very inspiration for our writing (our children).
Section off time to write in solitude: This is very important if you want to get back your life as a writer. I rise early every day to write. I used to wake at 4 a.m., now it's 5:30 a.m. I'm working towards going back to 4 or 4:30 a.m. Find a time that works best for you and, whether it's after the children go to bed or before they wake up each morning, commit to this time every day, even on weekends. Once you break the pattern, it's hard to get it back.
Retreat: Let people know you're unavailable during writing periods. Log off from all social media channels and stay away from email. Also, turn off all notification apps to avoid distractions and temptations. Whatever the writing project at hand and the time needed to finish it, the key is to let people know they will not be able to reach you during this time.
Commit to the Writing Process: Once you have sectioned off time to write and sent notice of your unavailability, commit to the process, and use this time to ONLY write. Write with a purpose in mind and be clear about what you hope to achieve. Immerse yourself in research and the writing process and keep practicing your routine until it becomes like second nature to you; just as brushing your teeth or exercising is.
Writing is a good way to decompress and to distress if you can find a way to commit to the process. For more tips on how to stay focused on your writing journey, join a writing community (we're building be here at TBAG) or get involved in writing challenges (we have one of those in the works too).