Monday, February 9, 2009

Launching a Writing Career … One Playdate at a Time

Books and articles about writing will tell you that you need to find outside or inside childcare to get your writing done. They’ll tell you that you have to do it while your kid naps or while the others are at school.

So here I am, a homeschooling, cheap, holds-her-babies-for-naps, sleeps-next-to-them-at-night mother of 4 -- count ’em, FOUR -- kids telling you I do it differently. This may not work for you, but it’s what works for me.

I love to write when my kids have friends over. The other kids are like built-in babysitters. That sounds bad, I realize, so let me explain.

Usually we’ll have anywhere from 1 to 3 friends over. That’s enough to keep everyone happy. If you fight with one kid, you have several other choices. It’s like recess at my house quite often. It’s a playdate without any other parents, so I don’t need to socialize.

I make sure I have a pitcher of clear Koolaid out and I keep the cups in a drawer down low. I lay out some semi-healthy snacks. I put away all sharp objects and matches aaaaaand … THEY’RE OFF!

If they leave me alone for even 15 minutes (barring blood or fire, of course), I reward them by sitting out front to watch them ride bikes or take them to the park or library. It doesn’t sound like much time to write, but I’ve already taken notes on a piece of paper while nursing or driving. And don’t look at me like that: I know you’ve driven while talking on the cell phone.

Of course I’m not totally paranoid and I’m not stupid … I treat offers of why-don’t-your-kids-come-to-our-house? like gold. It’s perfect when one kid goes across the street and another goes next door. Then one kid is happy at home drawing and enjoying the TV or the silence or having me or Aron all to him- or herself. And Eva is happy nursing or sleeping on me or exploring carpet fibers or chewing dropped Pokemon cards.

Give it a try! Oh, and head over to The Kerrie Show to read the first installment of Weight Loss Mondays.

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