When I sat down to write The Accidental Demon Slayer, I admit I did it on a lark. The kids were napping, the house was quiet and I couldn’t get these biker witches out of my head. The book was a blast to write and I did it in my own time. Writing wasn’t a job, it was a hobby.
Flash forward to when the book sold and lo and behold – they wanted another one. Joy! But there was a big difference writing book 2 – the deadline. Well, that and the fact that I realized people would actually be reading my book. For some reason, that threw me for a loop. But let’s put the Angie author craziness aside for a second and get back to the point. Here I was, with two jobs: a full-time mom of two, and a writer on a book deadline (with an acute fear of people reading said book).
The solution for me was a schedule. I decided what I needed to get done each day in order to have fun with the book (and make progress) while enjoying my kids. We still went to the park, took swimming lessons and collected pine cones from the yard. When they weren’t tired for their naps/mom’s writing time, we played “the stairs game,” which consisted of running up and down stairs. I told them stories about silly witches that would sometimes make it into the books. And I listened to my daughter talk to her “editor” on her Fairy Princess Play Phone.
I suppose what I’m saying is that for me, it’s all about balance. I’m a better mom because I get to have a ball with my writing. I have that outlet, that thing that is just for me. And I’m a better writer because being a mom gives you the kind of perspective you just can’t get anywhere else. Case in point, when I told my four-year-old daughter that mommy’s book made the New York Times bestseller list, she said, “that’s great mom, but you forgot to get me my cheese.”
Balance. At least that’s what has made all the difference for me.