The life of a part-time writer and full-time mama
This blog post was originally going to be me answering a few different questions from readers, but then I got started answering one of them and realised it was a whole blog post by itself.
Lynne asked me: How do you fit your writing in with being a mum?
The short answer: it’s complicated.
The long answer: It’s really complicated. I’m now the proud parent of two. Daisy is ten and has Down’s Syndrome. She’s way more independent than I expected and can be very helpful at times, but she’s still much more work than your average ten year old. And Gabriel came along in December 2014, so I now have a fourteen month old toddler to contend with too. Gone are my days of writing at a leisurely pace while Daisy was at school. I have a little leg-hugger to contend with during those hours.
Einstein’s Peep Show is my first new book since going on maternity leave, and I’m amazed I ever got it finished. When it comes down to a clash between writing and looking after my kids, being a mum has to come first. This means I keep getting behind with what I’m meant to be doing, writing-wise. Writing, editing and even promotion take a huge amount of mental energy and concentration. They are not something I can do while Gabriel is playing on the floor—believe me, I’ve tried! It only results in him getting whingey and me getting frustrated. Or worse yet, it results in him going off and doing something he’s not meant to be doing, like finding the cupboard under the sink left unlatched and pouring laundry detergent all over the kitchen floor.
At least it got cleaned that week…
I’m also no good at working after the kids have gone to bed. That’s my time to hang out with Andy and knit in front of the telly (we’re currently working our way through The Mentalist)… and sob quietly into my gin and tonic about my now non-existent social life.
And as for that hour or so before Gabriel and Daisy wake up in the morning? I work out. Honestly. Much as I’d like to go back to bed and get more sleep, I need my exercise and I’ve discovered it’s really difficult to do a workout when Gabriel is awake. He keeps trying to hug me while I’m on my back, lifting weights, bless him!
So I’ve been confining most of my work time to when Daisy is at school and Gabriel naps, which is fortunately usually a solid couple of hours after lunch. But of course, this is also the time I want to put my feet up for a big of rest, or to catch up on some of the chores that are almost impossible when he’s awake. To be honest, I’m lucky if I manage to do an hour of work a day. I’ve come to rely on the Pomodoro Technique for getting in a couple of 25 minute bursts of intensely focused work. Yeah, I just love being a slave to my egg timer!
Of course, that’s an hour of work on a good day. Kids have this annoying way of throwing spanners in the works, like getting ill or waking up early. Or ensuring I’ve had so little sleep the night before I can’t concentrate on anything more demanding than reading the back of a cereal packet. Yeah, you’ve got to love the little blighters.
When I was pregnant I asked a couple of writers with young children how they managed. After all, I only started writing around the time Daisy went to school, so I was clueless. KJ Charles said something that has stuck in my head: “You lower your standards.” Yeah, I’ve lowered my standards over all kinds of things. Chores, for a start. For instance, right this minute I should really be at the supermarket stocking up on supplies, but instead I’m getting the blog post written because it’s due to be posted tomorrow. I’m sure I can throw together something edible out of the contents of my cupboards. Toothpaste makes a good sandwich filling, doesn’t it?!
So yeah, it’s a miracle I’ve managed to get anything written at all. Being an at-home mama really is a full-time job. I’m definitely a part-time writer these days, but I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂
Just let’s just not mention the state of my kitchen floor…
Readers, how do you juggle family and work? And just where exactly do chores fall in your list of priorities?
Blurb: Nerdy by day, naughty by night!
Nathan Wright has a secret life. During the day he’s a dedicated student, working hard for his maths degree. But times are tough, and in order to make ends meet by night he becomes “Einstein”, wooing punters with his online solo sex show. Still wounded by his last dysfunctional relationship, Nathan’s happy being single. But when his highest tipping client demands it, Einstein has to overcome his social awkwardness to rope in some extra help.
Party boy Rory Jones has never given his geeky neighbour a second glance, but he’s not one to turn down the offer of a free blow job, even when Nathan tells him it’s going online. Once on camera, Rory discovers his exhibitionist streak and the two of them are so hot together, the one-off becomes a regular gig.
But being neighbours with benefits isn’t without its challenges. Nathan’s client keeps wanting more, and he finds himself pushed into a role he’s not prepared for. Meanwhile Rory’s growing affection leaves him worried his ultra-rational lover won’t ever be able to share his emotions. If he and Nathan can’t find something more than great sex in common, they’ll be left with the square root of absolute zero.
Author Bio: English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo publishes regularly with Samhain, and now has over ten novels and novellas under her belt. Her novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the ebook creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an energetic toddler.
Your answer to Josephine’s question (Readers, how do you juggle family and work? And just where exactly do chores fall in your list of priorities?) will enter you for the chance to win TWO e-titles of the winner’s choice from her backlist.
Comments must be received by 11:59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. The winner will be selected on Wednesday, the 2nd, and notified by email for prize delivery.
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
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