It makes me feel slightly uneasy, that in 2016 I can still find myself pondering the issue of balancing writing with motherhood - perhaps I should discuss writing and parenthood, as I'm sure there are many father's out there doing a similar juggling act. However, that is not my reality, so I'm going to address the issues I have encountered during the writing and publication of my first novel, Russian Redemption.
When I first read Virginia Woolf's famous essay A Room Of One's Own, I was studying Literature at University. I not only had a room to call my own, but indeed an entire house, my only distraction and responsibility was my adored German Shepherd, Molly, an endless stream of pub invitations and random part time jobs.
Virginia Woolf would have relished my abundant opportunities for creativity. Reading her essay's I was struck by how far we had come as a society, how many opportunities women now have to forge the careers we desire, adhering to only our own expectations. I had all the time in the world to write a novel, I answered to no one (except the dog when she wanted a walk)...fast forward some eight or nine years, I am a wife, a business owner and the mother of two beautiful girls.
I answer to just about everything and everyone else...
A Room Of One's Own means something more to me now. I had studied it with enthusiasm as a young woman but as a mother, and a writer, I understand now on a totally different level. I wonder if Virginia Woolf would have imagined we might have come further - I am fortunate to live in a bigger, physical, home these days, yet my room has vanished.
As so many mother's will tell you, it is the mental room, to think and create that flounders when our children are young. We give it willingly because we love our children but if you once desired a life of creativity, it will never leave you completely.
I am not an award winning, financially secure Author. I am fortunate enough to have been published but my writing has not replaced my day job (yet!), it exists on the fringes of my life, considered a hobby by my family. I persevere in creating a room in my life and family to accommodate my writing - but I never apologise for wanting it.
So, how do you balance writing with motherhood?
- I find it easy to plan and list ideas while running around with the children. Snippets of ideas or scenes but I avoid any lengthy writing. I know some writers like to steal pockets of time in and around their family but I find it never goes well - the writing or the family time!
How do you balance writing with motherhood?