For me, writing is less about where and more about when. One day (I’m visualizing here), I’ll be a full-time author and have hours and hours to write while my kiddos are in school. I’ll ignore the housework (I’m really good at that already), plop my butt down in my writing nook, at the dining room table, on the couch, or maybe I’ll get comfy in bed, and get oodles of #amwriting done.
It won’t matter if I stray for a few minutes to follow a trending hashtag, lean back to enjoy every last sip of coffee, or blankly stare at a wall. Because, I’ll have that glorious convenience of time to squander. And squander I will. But it’ll be okay, ’cause, ya know, I won’t have to give myself a “okay, focus, Jenni” pep talk until later in the day when the school bus looms closer.
But right now, with two kids under three, I rarely have the freedom to pee by myself, let alone spend time alone with my laptop. In fact, I’ve got two times a day I can plausibly squeeze in time to write something coherent. Well, really one time a day, you’ll see.
Opportunity 1: Nap time. Also known as Mom’s Hour or Two of Bliss (unless a kid has a bad dream, has to pee, is somehow still hungry, has uncomfortable socks, is too hot, is too cold, lost a pacifier, the dark barks at that blasted delivery man, or a host of other reasons…)
Opportunity 2: When the husband, the kids, and the dog are sleeping, and I transform into Vampire Mom creeping around in the darkness, the glow from my laptop the only light on in the house. I’ll write and write, but I’m also hyper aware of the clock. I gotta be, ’cause the nine-month-old is a fickle little man and some days he decides to start his day at 5am. Sometimes 6am. If I’m really lucky, 7am.
But you see, that’s why I really only have one opportunity a day to focus, focus, focus on adding new words to a book (especially since I’m a temperamental writer who needs quiet in order to focus and it’d be careless of me to sit in front of a laptop while my three-year-old dangles upside down from the second-floor landing). If I write during nap time, I’m generally too tired to write at night. And If I stay up past midnight and my darling son decides to be up with the birds, I’m normally crawling into my own bed when nap time comes around.
So, you see, it’s one or the other. Nap-time writer or Vampire Mom. But when I get that window of opportunity, I try my darndest to make the most of my laptop time — wherever it may be in my House of Chaos.
Any other nap-time writers or Vampire Moms out there? You’re my people.