Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finding Balance With Joselyn Vaughn!!!

Happy, Happy Weekend, TLN'ers!!!

Hope you've taken the holiday rush by the horns and have conquered the beast! I'm very excited to profess that I'm done. Done, done, done!

If you're in a similar situation, well, now is the time to break out the PJ's, a bag of chocolate, and indulge in just doing . . . nothing--which for those of us with a love of all things writerly means we'll be stapled to a keyboard or a notebook.

For some, that's a very doable task, but for those of us with little ones afoot divining a moment's peace is equivalent to finding the Holy Grail!

Today's Featured Author, JOSELYN VAUGHN, is someone I would consider a master in the arena of balancing "Mommy Time" with "Writer Time". I knew any advice she had to offer would be appreciated to the hundredth degree by 'mama writers' everywhere (me especially!)

Without further ado . . . here's Joselyn!!!

Finding writing time with small children without Mommy guilt

Haha! Sorry any task as a mother that doesn’t revolve around your children abounds in Mommy Guilt – that awful feeling that whatever you are trying to do is not as important as changing diapers, enforcing timeouts or discussing how Bob the Builder conveniently loses his phone whenever there is a big job to be done. Any time taken for yourself becomes doubly guilt-filled when you meet another mother with similarly aged children who can dress themselves, recite the alphabet or perform long division. You suddenly feel that every hour of quiet time you had should have been spent drilling the multiplication tables into their heads.

Just because you can’t get rid of the guilt doesn’t mean you don’t deserve time for yourself. You need time to recharge, quiet time for yourself so that you can face the screaming tantrum about having a red lid on their cup instead of a blue lid without having a screaming tantrum of your own.

The other reason I believe moms need time for themselves is to have their own identity. Just because you carried someone in your womb for nine months does not mean that you ceased to be once they were born. You still have an identity. Don’t lose yourself as your children figure out who they are.

This is one of the reasons I write. It gives me an identity and a purpose outside of ‘Mommy.’ Much of my life revolves around them and their needs, but writing is just for me. I hope that I will not wonder who I am once they go off to college.

With three toddlers, finding writing time isn’t always easy. I’ve often thought about how much easier it would be to not write – to give it all up and focus solely on the kids and the housekeeping. I did once. I vowed I was done. It last three hours before I pulled out a notebook again.

So how do you carve out that time?

-Eliminate Barriers. What keeps you from doing what you want? I can’t always sit at my computer and type.(Thirty extra fingers do not help me type faster.) So I have notebooks around the house. I even have them open with a pen stuck in the spiral. When the kids are coloring, I write. When they have a snack, I write a blog. Snacks take them forever and if I have a pen in my hand, I’m less tempted to munch on chocolate animal crackers too.

-Reserve time. I have a babysitter come one afternoon a week so I can meet with my critique group. Some adult conversation, a chance to bounce around ideas, and some motivation. It is something I rarely give up. Doctors’ appointments, church meetings, etc. get scheduled around it.

I think it is important to give yourself permission to do something you love and enjoy it with minimal Mommy Guilt. Your relationships with your children will be better for it.

For another holiday indulgence, I posting cookie recipes on my blog ( ). Stop by and try some out. Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season.

Courting Sparks - Avalon Books - 12/10
Indulge your softer side.

A heaping helping of advice AND cookies?! Wowza! It's Christmas come early! *wink wink* I'd like to thank Joselyn for being here today. I know I feel amped up and ready to carve out my "ME TIME" ASAP! With a newborn in my future, I know my schedule is going to need some major reworking, but I'm definitely up for the challenge. How about YOU?! :)

THANK YOU, TLN'ers!! Here's hoping your weekend is festive and full of fun. For those of you in the cross-hairs of the "Pineapple Express" storms, here's a double dose of good wishes headed your way! Christmas time is coming and let's just hope my Christmas dinner isn't hospital fare. LOL --TTTT!! (Ta-ta-till-Tuesday!) Kat Martin will be hanging out with us!!


Margaret Tanner said...

Great advice for mothers with young children Joselyn. Thankfully mine are grown up but I can still remember how hard it was to get some "me"time.



Diane Craver said...

Hi Joselyn and Sarah!

Great advice for everyone really. I liked your suggestion to have notebooks around the house with pens. Sometimes it's nice to write longhand instead of being in front of the computer all the time.

I admire any author with young children making sure they have some time to write. I wrote nonfiction when ours were small but later switched to fiction. But I didn't get books published until all six were in school.

Congrats, Joselyn, on your success. You've done great getting published already with small children.

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Sarah, thanks for hosting, I really appreciate it.

Margaret, I find the ideas flow a little easier if I'm writing by hand, so that definitely helps. Anything to get words on the page and develop the story. Of course, then you have to find time to type it. :-)

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Sheri Humphreys said...

I'm impressed with how determined you've been. I think it's great--you've made that critique afternoon a high priority in your life--for you, to be a balanced person. Good for you.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Fantastic advice. I love the notebook advice. :)

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Thanks Sheri and Karen. Have a happy holiday!