I had a think about what my first blog post should cover, and immediately juggling motherhood with writing came to mind.
I write about this first because both of these topics share equal space in my brain, sometimes one over takes the other and there is confusion and a sense of imbalance.
I’m happiest and most productive when these two areas align perfectly in my life which is not that often, I admit.
I never saw myself as a serious writer until I became a mother. If my son hadn’t come along, then most likely I’d still be working in a full time marketing job and wishing I had more time to write. Time then seemed very precious though the truth is I’d probably wasted vast amounts doing inconsequential stuff.
After I had my son, I decided to finally start writing or at least learn more about it, while I waited for my maternity leave to come to an end. I read one magazine, pitched a couple of really badly written ideas to the editor from my Yahoo! mail (cringe) which were accepted (to my surprise). I enjoyed it so much that I did a few writing courses and decided to formally pitch a few ideas, which were promptly rejected by most editors.
But I got up the next day, and the day after that and kept going through the sleep deprivation, early illnesses and constantly refreshing my inbox hoping to see a yes for one of my ideas. I kept pitching, making quite a few rookie mistakes before I learnt what not to do when pitching to an editor (I’m still learning!).
What got me to this stage, 3 years later, with many feature articles in my portfolio and a few corporate clients was:
- My passion for writing
Without these three ingredients, I doubt I would have achieved as much as I would have done. I still feel on some days that I haven’t achieved as much as I would have liked, then I look at my son, and I know he has given me the life experiences that have added depth to my writing and partly contributed to my success as a freelancer.
I could sit here and tell you what I did to get established as a freelance writer but the truth is, you need to find a system that works for you and your child so that you can get your writing done. However, some general tips that work for many writers who are also mums are:
- Write in short bursts of time rather than trying to find a block of time because let’s face it, with a child that’s quite difficult to do.
- Have a dedicated space for your writing rather than at the kitchen table in the midst of dirty dishes!
- Go for a walk or do some exercise to start doing your best thinking.
Do you freelance around small children? What do you do to make it work?