Writer Abroad thought it too: the moment she had her baby, her writing career would be put on hold. And it was. For about three months. But it’s not true that you have to give up everything just because you have a baby. It’s just different. And a bit more challenging sometimes. But eight months after welcoming Baby M to the family, Writer Abroad feels almost more productive than before. Key word, almost. Here’s why:
There’s no time to procrastinate.
As a parent, you tend not to take free time for granted. And that means the moment naptime begins, the writing does too—at least for as long as the baby sleeps—which could mean five minutes or two hours. You never know, so you just get to work.
You set realistic goals.
Writer Abroad used to have insane goals for herself when she was writing the first draft of her memoir: about 5,000 words a week, which sometimes was unsustainable. But now, between working part-time and being a mother full-time, the goal for the novel is 1,000 words a week. It’s about the pace that change happens in Switzerland, but at least it’s sustainable.
You take more walks.
Every Thursday is hike in the woods day with Baby M. Since Baby M likes to sleep during walks, Writer Abroad has a lot of time to think about her writing projects and come up with new ideas and plot twists which never seem to happen when she stares at a computer.
You get up earlier.
Writer Abroad has never been a morning person, but thanks to Baby M, she’s become one. And she’s amazed at how much more time there is in the day when she gets up at 6 a.m.
You learn to work with distraction.
Baby M loves her plastic iPod more than any other toy. She flips from The Tales of Hoffman to A Little Night Music to Beethoven’s 5th like a bad TV channel surfer. But as long as the soundtrack is a happy one, Writer Abroad keeps typing.
How has having a baby changed your writing?