Finding a Balance Between Writing and Family

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With summer right around the corner, it’s time to get excited about sunny days that are perfect for writing. But when school is out we often find ourselves with a house full of children. Finding a balance between writing and family can become a daily challenge. I would like to share a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned from my experience. I also reached out to several of my author friends for their ideas to help us stay focused on writing while still being present for our families.

Create a Writing Schedule

When you set up a writing schedule it not only helps you, but your family as well. When my girls were younger we created a schedule together. Some days I would write early while they were sleeping in. Other times I wrote later in the day when they were winding down for the night. A schedule creates a respect for both your family and for your writing.

I have joined an online writing group, Teach Write Academy. They offer a number of writing opportunities throughout the week and weekend. During our writing sessions we set a goal for that hour then we spend time writing. We check in with our goal writing progress after an hour. At the end of the session we set writing goals for the coming week. Setting goals and having this accountability group has helped me accomplish my writing goals. The Teach Write Academy is a powerhouse of resources, workshops, and inspiration for teachers. Their members are teachers who are writers (They are also friendly and welcoming). I invite you to find a schedule that works for you . If you are a teacher I hope you will join us at Teach Write Academy. If you are interested in an online writing group do your homework and find a group that meets your needs.

Setting Goals

What are your writing goals for the summer? Writers agree that writing down your goals and establish deadlines is the key to success. If you’re working on a novel, having a target word count for your writing can significantly boost your productivity. This will free up more time for your family. Other writers set a specific time, such as writing for 15 minutes each day. Another author friend likes to set a number of pages for him to complete each day. As a picture book author, creating a weekly schedule allows me time for writing, revising, researching, and other important activities related to my writing. I use a calendar to track my progress, but most importantly, I celebrate each goal I achieve!

Take Advantage of Activities

Sometimes you just need a quiet space to write and other times a quiet space may not be available. When your children are engaged in summer programs, outside the house, you can take advantage of the quiet time to write. Take advantage of carpooling with other moms. This can give you an additional 10-15 minutes of writing time. The other moms can use their break time when it is your time to drive. Writing at home is always my first choice. When the is not possible, I look for places that are close to the activity. I can write in the library or at a local Starbucks. When those options were not possible, I simply sat in my car. I used that time to help me reach my writing goals. This has helped me with my balancing act.

Make Writing a Family Activity

The Summer Slide is real. Children lose significant knowledge in reading, writing and math over the summer break. Children in grades 3-5 are at the greatest risk for this slide. You can create an inviting writing space for your children to help build their writing and communication skills this summer.

To help you make writing a family activity, I am giving away a Free Summer Writing Calendar. The calendar has 28 writing prompts for children appropriate for grades 3-5. Each prompt is unique and taps into different types of writing. For example, making a list, writing a poem, or writing song lyrics. Many children do not like to write, but they may try it if we can make it fun. They might be more open to writing when it becomes a family activity. They may find that they actually like to write. If you would like a free copy of my Summer Writing Calendar for your family, please contact me here. I will be posting other ideas on social media as well.

Thoughts …

This is not an exhaustive list, but I think it’s a good start. If you implement one tip from this list, you will find that balance between writing and family. Finding that balance will help you to move forward with your writing. You will be happier because you are meeting your writing goals. Your family will be happy spend quality time with you and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

With gratitude …

I am so glad you’re here and I thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am grateful that I can share my writing journey with you. 

I’m looking forward to helping you as a children’s book writer in any way that I can. Speaking of helping — please leave a comment below and let me know what questions you have about picture book writing. 

My website has been updates and it is now interactive. There are surprises everywhere. Click on the balloons and see where they take you. Can you find two writing videos? Freebies? A chocolate chip recipe? There’s even a special freebie to anyone who subscribes to my newsletter. Check out the resources for childrenparents and teachers, librarians and homeschooling families. 

Please consider purchasing a copy of Two Wins for Wiley or Gertie Saves the Day for gifts. If you are going to a baby shower, looking for an end of the year gift for a special teacher or thinking about summer reading books, give books. It has been my wish to get books into the hands of children. It is the best gift I can think of for children and adults!

A request … 

You can really help this author by leaving a book review on Amazon or Goodreads. You can leave a review for Gertie Saves the Day here or here. Two Wins for Wiley here or here.  Reviews can be as easy as 2-3 sentences. It should take about 30 seconds to leave and would make a huge difference for me. Need help? Click here.

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