December 12, 2013


Once, at a writing conference, I learned that the woman I was chatting with was the mother of eight.  Upon hearing this, my first thought was amazement that she was upright, showered, and indistinguishable from any other woman at the conference. My second thought was to ask her for advice.

"How do you find time to write?" I asked.

"It is really hard," she said, nodding sagely like she got this question all the time.

I waited attentively for her pearls of wisdom.

The woman sighed. "There are just too many good books to read. I always get distracted. I'm working on it, though."

And that was it.

It's weird. Over and over it seems, I run into the often-loud opinion that it's impossible to write while there are small children in the house. I don't seem to find the same advice about demanding jobs or graduate degrees or volunteer work or playing DnD. In fact, the only position I've heard as routinely labeled as a black hole for writing is that of being SFWA president.

For me, at least, telling myself that "I'll write more when I'm less busy" or "I'll write when I'm feeling super-organized, inspired, and well-rested" has always been a bigger danger to writing than cuddling a newborn on the rocking chair. Whenever the echo of naysayers begins to creep in, I think of that mom of eight. There are dozens of things I do with my time everyday. I just need to make sure that writing is one of them.


  1. Today at The Brown Bookshelf, a debut writer with Lee & Low last year ( wrote about having a family of THIRTEEN. Apparently, it can be done...

  2. That's an awesome story -- thanks for the link!