Finding Your “New Normal”: Writing Through Life Changes

During the course of your writing career you will inevitably go through times of major life upheavals or changes. It could be a change in your day job. Entering or leaving post-high school studies. Marriage. Divorce. Having children. Moving. Illness. And on and on.

It also seems inevitable that no matter how much you’d like to stick to your writing schedule during those life changes, you won’t be able to keep it up. You’ll have to take the time to experiment until you find your new normal when it comes to writing.

My latest life change involved having a baby about a year ago. During the first few months of her life was able to stick to a half-way “normal” schedule because she slept half the day. Not all of my other tasks or errands got done, but I took care of my baby and got some writing and editing done. Now that she’s a toddler, however, things have really changed.

For those of you who haven’t experienced raising a toddler, suffice it to say that they do not make quite time in front of the computer an easy thing to achieve.

So I’m in the process of experimenting what my new normal is going to be while we get through the toddler and terrible twos phase of my daughter’s life. I certainly won’t be able to find two hours in the middle of the day to write anymore. And I’ll almost certainly have to make sacrifices – maybe sacrifices of sleep to write late at night or early in the morning. Sacrifices of “free time,” giving up television or lunch dates with friends. I don’t know exactly what changes I’ll have to make yet before I can establish a new normal, but I’m going to keep experimenting until I find it.

Because one thing is certain: writing is NOT a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I’ll be a writer come hell or high water, even if it means a dirty house or hiding from my family a few hours every weekend.

What have you done to find a new normal for your writing after major life changes? Share your stories in the comments below. Maybe what worked for you will help someone else through a difficult transition.

By Jocelyn Nash Carlin

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Information for the beginning or aspiring writer about all things writing in the fiction world. Novels, publishing, etc. We feature author and other professional interviews. View all posts by Writing Snippets

One response to “Finding Your “New Normal”: Writing Through Life Changes

  • anonymous

    I understand what you’re going through. I started writing after I had my last baby. I used to write when he napped. When he stopped napping, I wrote while he watched a movie in the middle of the day. Then he started preschool and I wrote while he was in preschool. Now all my kids are in school and I still write from one to three in the afternoon. That may not work for everyone though. I’ve heard of moms who grab ten or fifteen minutes of writing during the day whenever they can fit it in. I can’t do that though cuz it takes that long for me to warm up. Some get up early or write late, but I’m not a morning or a night person. And I can’t work in long segments of more than a couple hours at a time, but someone else may be able to take a big chunk of time one day a week to write. There are phases in life when we have to take a break for a while or cut back on it, but you’ll find a way and get back into it when you can.

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