Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Working Mom Finds Time to Write: Author R.K. Grow

A Working Mom Finds Time to Write

Time? What is time and how do I find it? That darn thing often eludes me. I think most of the time the two of us are playing a game of Hide-and-seek. How do I find time to write? is THE question I hear most often amongst fellow writers. In fact we discuss it on a monthly basis in my writing group. Most of us are moms of several children and finding time to write is a big deal. I hope I can give you some ideas as I share with you the strategies I’ve come up with. It hasn’t been without failure either and I will share those with you as well.

First, let me tell you a little about myself. I play many roles during a given day of the week. I am a wife and a mother of two beautifully spirited daughters.  I say “spirited” because they are so full of life and a little stubborn too. I am an employee at a major university and work full-time.  It’s been hard for me being a working mother because I always thought once I had kids I would just stay home and take care of them. Sometimes the way we want things to turn out isn’t always the reality we will get. But I do the best I can and spend the most time with my girls and husband when I am home. One perk is that I get to work from home on Friday’s and I really like working in my pajamas while watching Yo Gabba Gabba or Pocoyo with my girls. I am also a member of my church and hold a calling that keeps me busy twice a week and then some occasional meetings. I don’t tell you this to make you feel sorry for me but I want you to have some context and understand my time is really divided.

And I keep forgetting one important role in there-ME! I also have things I wish to accomplish as a person aside from being a mother, wife and employee. This is where that question of writing comes in.  How do I find time to write?

I have tried so many things that I wonder if there is anything left to try. Here is a list of what I’ve done so far and how it’s worked.

Writing on Sunday afternoons. This worked well when I had one child and she napped. Now I have two children with only one nap in the afternoon. The other one just wants to hang out with mommy. It’s as if my kids only want me when I need to get something written. I am sure none of the mom’s out there has ever had this happen before. 

Writing on my lunch break at work. I tried this for a month and then it fizzled. I am just too busy at work anymore with new responsibilities. I often eat lunch at my desk while I am working.

Writing on the train and bus into work. This worked okay but now that I have an iPad I may just try this again. I have to work on the train ride in as I count it for my work time but the bus ends up being an hour total each day. I usually read or sleep. I may take turns between reading and writing.
Writing from 9-11pm every night after the kids are in bed. I struggle with this one. I am so tired by the time 9pm roles around on a workday that I just want to sit and do nothing.  I find I do most of my blog posts during this time and reading.

Each of the options I tried had their pros and cons. I am definitely going to try writing on the bus again. I think I can make that work. I just have to make sure I have the room to do it.

I have thought about some new strategies to help me find time to write. Here are a few things I would like to try now. 

  • I want to take off a few days a month and just go to the local library or bookstore with Wi-Fi and write.  
  • Take advantage during upcoming writing conferences I will be attending and write during breaks, lunches and or during a session. I am really good at multi-tasking!
  • Make a weekly goal with two things to accomplish in writing. This has worked for me with my blog. In fact I mapped out all my posts until July. This has really helped me to be organized.
  • Restructure my 9-11pm time for writing and make it work!
  • Talk into the computer to maximize time spent typing. We have the Dragon software that allows you to speak into a microphone and then it dictates to Word for you.

While I haven’t found the magical formula for finding time to write, I do know what works for me and my crazy schedule. I would love to hear what struggles you are having with finding time and what works best for you. I am always willing to try something new, especially if it works.

The funny thing is that this post has taken me two months to write. Go figure! And I have rewritten it at least three times.

You can find me on my blog at and on Twitter @tolkien418


  1. Thank you so much for asking me to write a post for your blog. I hope we'll get some great comments about what others are doing to find time to write.

  2. Lovely post!
    Can you trade child-care that Sun afternoon with another parent. That other parent doesn't have to be a writer.
    Can you get a fun kitchen ticker (mine is a chickie) & set it. In that time (10 minutes) the kiddos aren't allowed to contact you except for emergencies & you write.
    Can you set your clock 1 hour early & get up at 4 a.m. , 5 a.m. & shower/ tea/chocolate/coffee & write.
    Having no idea of your biorrmythm or resources, I hope these are taken in the spirit intended.
    I'm an older Mom now, but I have empathy becasue there were days I was caring for a toddler, elderly relative in the same town & mentally disabled relative staying with me & had to write (non-fiction travel book deadlines & newspaper deadlines.) These strategies can work for some folks.
    Most important - everyone who doesn't reply back here is still cheering for you. Brava! to you. You can work this out.

  3. Thank you Jan. I really appreciate your comments and advice. I apologize for not seeing this earlier. I had carpal tunnel surgery in March on both wrists. Fun stuff.

    I like the idea of a fun kitchen ticker. I wish I were a morning person. Perhaps I could turn off the T.V. That is my escape from the work day.

    I hope to have an update this fall on how the new things I am attempting to try worked out.

    And thank you for the encouragement!