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Maureen Kauzlarich

Children's Author

How to Write with Kids Around

Writing in general has its own sets of challenges. Writing with kids is a whole other story. This a list of writing challenges and suggestions on overcoming them while having kids in your lives. (This list does not include day jobs, college, or any other kinds of challenges added to our lives while still taking care of kids. That would take forever to write.)

 

Challenge #1

Time to Write

 

Finding the time to write with children is the hardest. It will take inspiration, motivation, and dedication. Find what inspires you to write each day. Always remind yourself why. Next, motivate yourself to stick to some schedule of writing. Warning: It will probably be changed around a lot. Keep pushing yourself to try to write at a certain time or wherever time can be spared. Ten minutes is longer than you think. Multitasking may have to be your thing for a while. Finally, dedicate yourself to writing. The same way you dedicate the time for your kiddos, dedicate the time to write. 

 

Suggestion: Learn how to multitask or write in small chunks throughout the day. Small amounts of writing, whenever you’re sitting or doing a mindless task, is still getting the writing done. Sometimes having shorter amounts of time to write can give us our best story gems.

 

Challenge #2

Interruptions 

 

The fact of the matter is you’re going to get interrupted. As a new parent, it’s life-changing to always have a little person crave your attention every five minutes, but such is your life from now on. You’ll get interrupted while using the bathroom, while you’re on the phone, and even while you’re sleeping. Writing is also an interruptible moment. How do you overcome these sometimes questionable interruptions? By letting them interrupt you.

 

Suggestion: It’s a good thing to step back and care for your loved ones. They come first. For sanity's sake, you must believe that it will make you a stronger writer to cope with interruptions. Think of writing like playing a video game that you have to pause every so often. Unlike a video game, you don’t just press a button. Like a video game, you may be a little disoriented when you push the start button (or is it A?). Eventually, you'll get the groove back though.

 

Challenge #3

The Untidy House

You’ve gotta feed them. You also have to clean up after them. No, we’re not talking about a dog. Although if you do have a pet in your life you will need to take care of them too. The constant cooking, the cleaning, the vomit on the shirt, and the unkempt rat's nest of hair are signs that you're trying as a parent. Having to do house chores constantly may be tiring or take up a lot of the precious time you have, but it's for the better good of all. How do you find the energy to write after all the craziness?

 

Suggestion: Make it a simple task. Figure out what eases you into writing the best. Is it your trusty laptop or the sight of a pencil and paper sitting lovingly on a desk? Reading the last few sentences you wrote can help spark the next few sentences quickly. Even after feeling drained, we writers find a way to push out a word or two. Take every sentence as a win.

 

 

The GREATEST Challenge

Guilt

 

The biggest challenge many writer-parents share is the feeling of guilt when they take time for themselves to only write. This is a feeling that will wheedle its way into your mind and challenge you every time you get an inkling of the writing bug. Whenever it creeps up remember that it's a good thing to get downtime to yourself in whatever you want to do. If you don't devote alone time every once in a while, you will experience burn out and feelings of frustration, sometimes toward the people you love. Think about this whenever you get the guilty feeling: Writing is an activity that challenges your mind and spirit in a creative and positive way. If they are available in your life, don't be afraid to ask family and friends for help to watch the kids so you can write. The time to yourself will be rewarding and refreshing to you which will make for a happier parent for your children. 

 

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