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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Writing with Children

Writing is an astronomically difficult task on my best day, in solitude, with coffee. Writing this summer has been a spectacular challenge. Summers are busy. Far busier than the school year. And I am the lucky driver of the Lindsey bus. (My kids are 5, 8 & 11)We are on the go most mornings and we top off the lessons or activities with a picnic before coming home. It's lovely and we're making lots of memories, but the writing isn't happening. The exercise is basically not even on my to-do list. My to do list is made of child transport and laundry. Even my meals are looking more like sandwiches three times a day than the well balanced plates I used to make. 

During the school year, things are different. I have six solid hours Monday through Friday to work with- write, clean, promote etc. For example: Monday is an errand day and everyday start with a run. I follow a routine and it keeps me sane. There's time to write everyday. There's time for everything everyday and I am the master of my domain. *dances*

Except this isn't the school year.

This is summer and I am floundering. I'm getting farther behind on my manuscripts by the second and the next two months don't look any better. Weeds and grass are growing. My garage needs purging. My ceilings need painted. I've got lots and lots of real life stuff to do in between swim and tennis lessons. And camp and kids college. And no less than six birthday parties. Not to mention if the kids are home too long, they start arguing over anything from how many raisins are in a box of Raisin Bran to the colors on a rainbow according to art class. So, you see my troubles?

They are good problems to have. It’s true. I know. But, the summer has officially killed my writing life and made me a little bananas. As an author, the bananas show. As I’m writing this post, it is literally closing in on midnight on the night of my post deadline which was set long long ago. My overflowing brain is maxed to capacity. My imagination is running wild. My deadlines are creeping closer. I'm headed for a panic attack. Let me just say, there will be weeks of back-to-school writing in August when I finally get the opportunity to empty my brain. There will also be a mad dash to meet deadlines, but at least it will be fun work. 

So, for now, I'm keeping a balance - sort of. I'm making summer memories with my small children while they still want me around and fending off deadlines with a short stick. Is anyone else juggling life and a houseful of children on summer vacation? If so, I'm right here with you. Hang on to your sanity a couple more months because sadly, these days will be gone too soon. 




Rita said...

I am in awe of writer moms. No way I could do it.

Rita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcelle Dubé said...

I remember those crazy-making days, Julie Anne. Weird as it sounds, my advice to you is to enjoy them while you can. There will always be deadlines and housework, but before you know it, the kid will have their own lives and be off on their own.

Then you'll have all the time you want to write, but will miss the insanity.

Toni Anderson said...

Walt Disney helped me write when my kids were young. :)

It's hard and I feel your insanity (I've been there). Can you get them to help with sorting the garage and maybe some chores? I've discovered the more I do the more I expect myself to do, whereas DH comes in and delegates everything to the kids. It certainly helps lighten the load.

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Rita, I am a circus over here. :)

Toni, that is so funny because my DH is exactly the same.

Marcelle, I always put the kids first because I fully realize these days pass too quickly. Writing will be here.

jean harrington said...

Julie Anne, your last blog line, the realization that these days, sadly, will soon be gone, is very true. My children are grown, my grandchildren half a continent away and I would love to swap places with you--but probably wouldn't be able to hold up under what, as I recall, you're going through. Enjoyed your observations.

Anne Marie Becker said...

I think I'm living your life in a parallel universe. LOL My kids are 11, 9, and 4, and we just returned from a 10-day vacay in Alaska, only to turn around, repack in one day, and head out to see the next set of relatives. Why does summer feel like it's more go-go-go than the rest of the year? The good thing is, I don't have to worry so much about packing lunches and waking kids every morning. ;)

Misa Buckley said...

Oh, I hear you. Even though three of mine are older, that comes with it's own problems. College isn't full-time. I've had two child-free days a week, when I was lucky.

Eldest boy has finished high school altogether, so he's off now. Middle daughter did her last exam yesterday. And the summer break hasn't even officially started yet.

J Wachowski said...

Been there. Done that! (Still doing it, actually.)
Someone once said to me: the days are long, but the years are short.
Which turns out to be sooooo true.
Keep having fun. Keep trying to delegate!
And when you get too bananas--make weekends mom-getaway-time! That helped me. "Hi, honey! Love you! I'm going to the library!") I "worked" weekends & he took over with the kids.

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