Thursday, July 29, 2010

Balancing Family and Writing Career

I know I've told you before that this is definitely the toughest pregnancy I've experienced so far, but the amazing thing is that I've managed to really advance my writing career during this difficult pregnancy. I now go to three to four doctor appointments weekly, and take care of two toddlers, and write -- all while feeling extremely tired and pretty crappy physically (because of this high-risk pregnancy and the medications that my doc has me taking). One word comes to mind: BUSY.

There was a time in my life when I would have said that just making it through these nine months with my sanity intact would have been a big enough feat on its own, much less actually setting and reaching some lofty (for me, at least) writing goals. So I have to say that I am actually quite proud of myself and very grateful for having come to the understanding that I am really capable of doing quite a lot if I set my mind to it, busy or not.

In fact, I think that might be one of the most important things I've been able to do -- realize what is and is not a priority in my life, and then plan - and act - accordingly.

In my case, my family takes precedence over everything. While writing is important to me, it still comes second on the list of priorities. Knowing this, I am able to schedule my days so that I can be a good mother to my kids, spend quality time with hubby, and still have time to write. Granted, I don't always have as much writing time as I would like, but I make it work. And, for me, the pressure of time limitations works a lot better than self-imposed deadlines, so I've managed to remain quite productive.

Unfortunately, this means that I have to be extremely selective with how I use my time. For example, I often find myself in a situation where I have to choose between drafting an article or sending out a pitch versus writing a blog post. Nine times out of ten, I write the article or pitch letter. But it can be disappointing having to do that because I really enjoy blogging.

My goal here isn't to complain, but rather to show that you really do have options -- you can choose to have a writing career while raising kids. And succeed at both. It's a choice. Everyday you make little choices that end up dictating the life that you lead. Those choices reveal what's most important to you, and have a large influence on the person you are and the person you are becoming. These choices allow you to develop and share little bits of yourself with your family, friends, editors, readers, etc.

In a nutshell, I am busy. A busy mom. A busy writer. A busy wife. A busy preggo woman. Would I prefer to be less busy? No way! Because that would mean that I was giving up something that I love.

So are you a busy writer? And would you change anything?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The First Step to a Writing Career

Let me start by saying that I hadn't planned on posting two quotes in a row, but I read this today and just thought it was really relevant to my blog, especially considering my title -- Baby Steps.

“The grace to be a beginner is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step.”

-Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Yesterday, I was thinking about how far I have come in creating my writing career, and it struck me that I am so happy that I had the guts to take that first step. Without doing that, I would still just be dreaming about the day when I would be "a real writer" instead of reaping the benefits of the writer's life.

So if you want to make a living as a writer, just take the first step...and before you know it, that first step of setting out on the path to becoming a writer will lead you closer and closer to the realization of your writing goals.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Importance of Daily Writing

"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop." ~Vita Sackville-West