Juggling Family Life & Writing

I’m often asked how I manage to write at least two books a year as well as editing a third and promoting a current release… I can safely say my answer has changed MANY times over my twelve years of being a published author.

My daughters were just six and four when I started writing my first novel, Searching For Sophie. Before my youngest started school full-time that year, I wrote short stories and articles when I could (which wasn’t often!) and held tight to the dream of being a published novelist one day.

As soon as the house was empty between the hours of 8.30am and 3pm, I came up with a schedule to write at least 1,000 words a day. Were these words any good? Probably not. Would my first book have been looked at by an editor if I’d submitted the completed first draft? Probably not. If I hadn’t told people I was writing my first novel, would I have finished it? Probably not.

There are plenty of people who work part or full time and still manage a house and kids. If I was lucky enough to be able to stay home and be a full-time mum, I wasn’t going to ignore that opportunity, and took the decision to treat my writing as I would any other part-time job. I worked the hours day in, day out and, when I (eventually) finish my first ever book. SEVERAL drafts later, I took a leap of faith and submitted it to a publisher.

The Wild Rose Press offered me a contract which I wholeheartedly accepted.

I was a published author!

Twelve years and twenty-three novels later, I still love my job, still get the same thrill every time I’m offered a contract and still work every available hour around my family. My daughters are now 20 and almost 18. Their demands today, as opposed to when they were growing up, are practically non-existent as they pursue their new lives studying in Plymouth and London.

Does this mean I have more time to write? Definitely. Does it mean I still have to ensure I treat my work as I would any other job? Definitely.

These days, I’m more productive than ever, and not just because I have more time – something incredible happens when you start unapologetically pursuing your passion. I used to occasionally talk about my work if I was asked about it, but God forbid should I stand up and proudly announced I’m a published author. What right did I have when I am lucky enough to work from home? Can start or finish the day when I choose? Or take a week off at the drop of a hat? That wasn’t a real job to my ears so why would it be to anyone else’s?

But when I started getting regular contracts and deadlines – a switch flicked inside of me and I decided enough was enough. I work…HARD!

I started to claim and protect my work time. Made it clear to family and friends when it was my work or play time. I started to leave the laundry, ironing and shopping until I was ready to do these things. 

And guess what? The world didn’t end. My kids and husband still looked decent enough walking out of the door to work and school…no one starved.

These days, I write more words per week than ever, more blog posts as well as writing and submitting non-fiction articles.

How? I share my struggles and times when I can’t do it all. I ask for help. I extend delivery times and don’t say yes to everything. Family or no family – our lives are our own to do with as we will. 

Sometimes, a parent who is a writer has to alter their priorities. Sometimes they have to say, ‘Hey! This is MY time…’

Rachel x

For a list of my books, why not visit my website - be sure to sign up for monthly newsletter featuring my latest news, offers and exclusive giveaways!


No comments

Post a Comment