When published author moms with kids at home talk about their amazing book-writing productivity at home, I often wonder what the true picture is.
Imagine the super mom.
She’s a one-woman band. She changes diapers while conducting business transactions on her hands-free phone. She cooks seven-course meals while writing her millionth word. No doubt that’s another bestselling novel for her.
She does it all.
Or does she?
If she does, more power to her.
In many of the cases, I find out that those super moms have some kind of help to free them up to write those books, to meet editorial deadlines, to keep her end of the contractual obligations (if she is traditionally published).
Maybe she has a cooking husband, pays nannies or babysitters, or hires assistants of some sort to get the laundry done and house cleaned up. Someone else takes the kids to school and extracurricular activities. Someone to fill in for her, babysit the kids, keep them occupied.
Or maybe she writes when the kids are in school or when they take long naps. I remember Tess Gerritsen saying that when her kids were young, she wrote the moment they got on the school bus and she stopped writing when they got off the school bus. That way, she could be mom to them when they are at home.
Or maybe super mom might also leave the kids with her husband or caregiver and go somewhere quiet to write.
Or she might have gobs of kids of many ages, so that the older kids can take care of the younger ones.
Or she might be extremely organized if she does everything herself.
In my opinion, it’s all very subjective, and varies from author mom to author mom.
As for me, I made the decision to take twelve years of sabbatical from writing to spend time raising my son. I don’t regret my personal choice. If anything, I regret not taking even more time off from my career. Maybe eighteen years until my son went off to college. However, in high school, he was in a college preparatory academy, thereby freeing me up to get back to writing.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. I made another decision for my writing career, and that’s for me. Your mileage might vary.
And then you have David Baldacci who said he could write anywhere and in any kind of environment, so he used to write with his toddler in his lap.
IDK if I can do that. The last time I tried, my then-toddler somehow managed to reach the POWER button of my then-PC and turned off my computer with his powerful Bam Bam finger. I realized then that he should be taking piano lessons. And a couple of years later, we bought a piano and sent him to piano lessons. And sure enough, years later, he was playing Liszt. But I digress.
There again, to each her own. Just because I couldn’t write with a toddler at home, it doesn’t mean many can’t. In fact, I might be the only person in the world who can’t write with a toddler at home.
All that to say that when I read blog posts about people trying to write like someone else, to be as productive as someone else, I would like to ring a bell of caution.
Many times, things are subjective. Things are different from house to house, from family to family, from author to author.
I think we have to find what works for us individually. Be sensible and practical. There is no one size that fits all. It’s important to be realistic and not look at other people’s yards. The Appalachian Memes posted a meme on Facebook the other day saying the grass might be greener over there because they have a septic tank underground or something like that.
Truly, indie authors (mothers or not) all work at our own paces. Otherwise we wouldn’t be indies. I keep thinking of the tortoise and the hare. One author who writes 500 words a day every day consistently will end up writing more than the hare who writes in spurts.
To all the author moms in the world, I wish you the best! Happy writing!
Joyfully in Jesus,