In the middle of feedings and diaper changes
Forget the big plans
I had big plans for my maternity leave. Living in Canada means I get a full year (now with an option of 18 months) off work.
Twelve glorious months to write.
I was going to write my little heart out potentially earning a percentage of the income I’ll be losing while on leave. I wasn’t planning on writing a book or anything but I was going to write.
Write. Write. Write.
Or so I thought.
My goal was two articles a day but I’ll be lucky to write two a week by the looks of it.
Maybe that’s just the nature of motherhood…or…maybe it’s me.
There are a LOT of interruptions during the day and I’ll lose my focus and my flow. It doesn’t help that I’m a terribly slow writer either.
I’m not going to quit trying but I’ve realized that I need to forget my big plans.
For now anyway.
Instead, I’m shifting my ambition to achieving daily goals instead because I figure achieving the daily goal is what’s going to help me achieve my big plans.
Now that I (sort of) have a better handle on my schedule (really his schedule), I know what time of the day I can write and when I should put my laptop away.
Forgetting and putting my big plans to the side isn’t a cop out — it’s me deciding to take the pressure off.
Because if I feel like a failure as a writer (and I’m sure the feeling of failing as a mom will hit me soon enough) it’s only going to make me quit or take a break and I don’t want to quit.
I want to keep going.
Take care of myself
People are constantly telling me to sleep when the baby sleeps. That’s easier said than done. While I’m not going to be sleeping 15 hours a day any time soon, I do believe I need to take better care of myself which means eating better, exercising more and, yes, fitting in a nap when I can.
When you have a new baby, all your basic necessities seem to go out the window while you provide your child with their basic necessities.
And it doesn’t work.
If I’m sacrificing myself in order to take care of my son, we both get the short end of the stick.
If I’m sacrificing myself, it means I’m not writing (or can even muster up the energy to write) and I’m not providing him with the quality time he needs for his growth and development.
If I’m not taking care of myself my creativity, motivation, persistence, and everything that makes me who I am as a person, a mom, and a writer is hindered and I’m pretty much a zombie who feeds and changes diapers every 2 hours and that’s not the kind of mom or writer I want to be.
Call myself a writer
I‘ve been referring to myself as an aspiring writer for years and maybe that’s why I’ve never gotten any traction — because I don’t actually identify myself as a full-fledged writer.
Professional writers write. Every day.
Mindset is so important in writing and if I’m identifying myself as ‘aspiring’ or ‘wannabe’, that’s who I’m going to be stuck as.
Many people may say that in order to call myself a writer, I need to be making some serious dough from said title. I’m choosing to ignore those people.
Now is the time to forge my identity as a writer…because I’m scared I might lose that identity in the midst of raising a child.The One Thing I’m Afraid of Losing
My true fear of being a mompsiloveyou.xyz
Asking for help
I’m terrible at asking for help.
I have this Superman mentality that I can do and manage it all.
But the truth is I can’t.
I can’t manage all the chores, raise a child, work, and pursue my ambition of writing all by myself. My ego definitely takes a hit with this harsh realization but it’s true — I can’t do it by myself.
“It takes a village to raise a child”
No truer words have been spoken.
I’m lucky enough to have a support system. My husband helps out and is supportive of my writing goals and both our families are here and willing to lend a helping hand.
I used to believe that asking for help was a sign of weakness but the opposite couldn’t be more true. Asking for help is, in actuality, a sign of strength.
And I need that strength to become the best mother and writer that I can be.
Don’t sweat the numbers
The stats, the views, the claps, the number of subscribers. If I’m constantly judging myself and my ability to write based on the numbers, I would’ve given up a long time ago.
But I’m still here and it’s because I’ve decided to stop caring about the numbers so much and just write.
Yes, I want my audience to grow.
Yes, I want to earn money from my writing.
So I’m going to keep writing. The numbers game can play itself.
Revisit my past work
I find that revisiting my past work always motivates me to keep writing even when I feel like quitting. It’s not because I think I’m the greatest writer of all time but because it reminds me of why I started writing in the first place.
So I’ll reread, rewrite, and be re-inspire myself.
Sometimes we are our own biggest inspiration.
Write. Write. Write.
If this doesn’t keep me writing, I don’t know what will.
I’m currently writing when my son is sleeping (luckily he’s a fan of naps). Taking my own advice (see point #1 — Forget the Big Plans), I’m going to go with the flow right now. That doesn’t mean relying purely on inspiration or motivation (because they’re not that reliable); it means taking the pressure off myself but continuing to persist regardless of what gets thrown at me.
My current plan is to simply write every day. Half an hour here, an hour there.
Every word counts.
Sneak a peek at my son
Let me rephrase my last statement to Sometimes we are ONE of our own biggest inspirations.
Because my son is actually my biggest inspiration to keep writing.
Every time I look at him, I’m reminded of why my actions and my words are so important. My husband and I are his first influencers and he will grow up to rebel against us or want to follow in our footsteps.
I want neither of those things.
I write so he can be inspired enough to forge his own path.
It’s easy to get lost in tasks and chores of every day life. Life and another life definitely keeps me busy but writing gives me purpose.
Writing gives me heart and in return, I’ll give it my heart.