With three kids under the age of four and a busy household, sometimes it's very difficult for me to make time for writing and creating. However, in the past couple of weeks, I've had two poems published in online literary magazine, which is amazing! I feel very accomplished and ready to forge ahead and write.
But life can get in the way, and sometimes you just want to watch Downton Abbey and paint your nails to relax. I think there are many moms out there, be they stay-at-home moms like me or working moms, who want to write more. Perhaps you want to start a blog or novel? Maybe poetry is your outlet. Whatever it is, I thought of 5 ways to boost your creativity and how to keep it going.
- Make sure you have the materials you need on hand and nearby. For me, cute and colorful notebooks can really inspire me and feel good to write in. Right now, my favorite poetry journal is a Moomin journal from a set published by Chronicle Books. Beautiful, smooth paper just begs for poetry or fragments of a novel. And if you have a nice pen or pencil, you are all set! Keep it near your bed on a desk for easy access. On the electronic side, I use a Google Chromebook and I just love it. It starts up quick, it's light and not too big, and it's simple to use.
- If there is someone you can trust with your kids, ask them to babysit for an hour or two so you can go have some uninterrupted writing time. Sometimes a quiet spot, free of distractions (or cute needy children) can help the words flow. Finding a place that is nearby but not home helps too. Once a week, my dad watches my three little ones and I go to the Clubhouse to write and it's relaxing as well as productive. The Clubhouse is in the middle of our huge condo complex and has free wifi. Cafes and libraries work too.
- While I am in the shower or doing the dishes, I find myself thinking of my novel or one of my poems and plan what I will write next time I have a chance. That seems like a small part of the day, but I have solved many plot issues while taking a shower. My mind can relax and focus on something other than kids, housework, or the usual day-to-day business of life. Finding pockets of the day where you can think of a future blog post or figure out the plot to a children's book you are working on can really help.
- If you have young children that nap, try writing while they sleep. In my case, the twins have started refusing to nap (crazy times), so I tell them to stay in their room and have "rest time." Usually my youngest naps a little in the afternoon, so I can go into my room and work on my computer or notebooks. That is exactly what I am doing right now. Sometimes I have an hour to work, sometimes half an hour. Even writing a little bit is good practice.
- And finally, if you can't work on a project for a week or two, don't stress about it! As much as we'd all like to have time to get everything done we want to get done, it usually doesn't happen. I have to remember that pressuring myself will only make me feel discouraged and frustrated. Taking care of my kids and household uses a lot of my energy and time, so it can be hard for me to write every day. I remind myself that every little sentence, every line of poetry, or blog post idea is important and leads to something bigger.
Comment and let me know if these tips help you or if you have any more to add to the list. :) Thanks for reading!
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