Today I’d like to welcome Isabo Kelly, who recently published The Darkness of Glengowyn (reviewed by me and E. at The Book Pushers), and the equally awesome first book in the series, Brightarrow Burning, reviewed here. She’s here to talk about…
What Having Kids Taught Me About Writing
by Isabo Kelly
Thanks for having me here today!
Rather than a straight up “about my book” post, I thought I’d start the tour with a little more personal post. I’m just going to say up front, though, this has nothing to do with airy fairy feelings. LOL. Yes, yes, I learned about a whole new kind of love when I had kids, but the only way that’s affected my writing is that there are now certain topics I have a much harder time dealing with (anything that has a kid in jeopardy is really really hard for me to tackle; and because my oldest is on the Autism spectrum, I’m really sensitive about kids with special needs topics).
No, what having kids really taught me about writing is time management skills—and how sorely I lack said skills.
I’ve learned I had a whole lot more free time before I had kids. Granted it was infinitely less flexible because of the day job, but there was definitely more time in my life. I just squandered it on things like sleep and showers that last longer than five minutes.
I’ve learned I can do a LOT in a very short amount of time. If all I have is an hour during naptime, or worse 15 minutes during naptime because neither of my boys are good sleepers, I can write actual books during those short spurts of creativity.
I’ve learned not to bother waiting on anything as ephemeral as my muse. She can catch up with me whenever she decides to show up. In the meantime, I have books to write.
I’ve learned I actually do need the occasional block of quiet time to edit, and sometimes, with kids, the only thing I don’t have is quiet. This is when I tell my husband I’m hiding in the bedroom with the door locked for a few hours.
I’ve learned I don’t need that much quiet to write the first draft. My imagination spills out onto the page even in the midst of chaos and mayhem. This is kind of a relief, to be honest. If I can write amid the uproar of my young boys charging around the place, I can write anywhere, anytime.
I’ve learned I can’t live without lists. Having kids did a number on my memory so I need lists or I will forget everything I need to do—including wash my hair (seriously, I can forget I need to do this if it’s not on my list!)
I am still trying to learn not to fret and worry about the work I’m not getting done in those periods of time when I can’t work because I’m being mommy. This is one of those life lessons I really want to figure out because when I’m playing with my kids I want to be present, not stressing my work load. This is an ongoing learning curve, though.
I’ve learned I can write sex scenes even if my kids are in the room. I just don’t let them see the screen.
But I’ve also learned, I enjoy writing those scenes more when my kids are asleep.
Finally, I’ve learned I still have a lot to learn about organizing my time and my writing around my family life. I’m not very good at it yet, but I try. And in the meantime, I manage to hug and kiss my kids a lot and still write lots of fiction. Overall, I call that a win.
So, anyone have any good hints or suggestions for time management? I’m always looking!
Isabo Kelly is the award-winning author of numerous fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal romances. Her life has taken her from Las Vegas to Hawaii, where she got her BA in Zoology, back to Vegas where she looked after sharks, then on to Germany and Ireland where she got her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior.Now Isabo focuses on writing. She lives in New York with her Irish husband, two beautiful boys, and funny dog. She works as a full time author and stay-at-home mom.
For more on Isabo and her books, visit her website, follow her on Twitter @IsaboKelly, friend her on Facebook, or follow her on Goodreads.
Isabo is giving away three ebook copies of the first book in the Fire and Tears series, Brightarrow Burning, and a $40 gift certificate to winner’s choice of B&N or Amazon! For a chance to win, please use the Rafflecopter below.