Sarah N. asked:
I have a question for Melissa. How do you get any writing done when you are living in the moment and really enjoying your kids? I’m also a writer but I can’t get any work done when I really feel like I’m in sync with my kids and really being present with them (I’ve already given up the standards I’d like to have for housework and other family management so I can’t steal much time from that).
When I wrote my Little House books, Scott was a work-at-home freelancer too. I wrote quite a bit about our work-and-family schedules in the “I’m No Supermom” series a couple of years ago, oh, and in an article called “The Homeschooling, Freelancing Life.” Back then—and mind you, that was before Rilla was born—Scott worked from 9-3 while I was with the kids, and I wrote from 3-6 while the children played with daddy. It was an idyllic arrangement, and we were deeply appreciative of it for the whole lovely eight years it lasted. (He quit his editor job to go freelance when Rose was born.)
In July of 2006 Scott returned to the editor’s side of the desk. I have much less writing time now, and we knew that would be the case when we made the decision to accept the job offer. My children won’t be little forever and I want to savor these all-too-fleet years!
But still, I must write. If I don’t write my head gets swirly with pent-up words and I am no use to anyone. We’ve worked it out so that I get about 1 1/2 to 2 hours a night, four nights a week (Scott has a class on the fifth night), and around four hours on Saturdays. That isn’t a ton, but it’s enough to get some work done.
If you’re interested in the specifics (I know I always like to hear the details of how people manage their time), it goes like this. (more…)