The Writing (Grand)
Copyright: Cheryl Wright
All rights reserved
As a writer, Ive been
off-spring were grown and had left home when I
began writing seriously. But I was still working
full-time, cleaning house, making meals, ironing
all the usual ho-hum chores of everyday
life. By some wonderful twist of fate, hubby
became a target shooter around the same time I
became serious about my writing, and shoots every
Saturday rain, hail or shine. Result: I had the
house to myself for an entire day every week
twelve or thirteen hours sometimes
and I could write anything from 2,000 to 5,000
words in that time.
Aaaah, the bliss!
Then the unthinkable happened;
my twenty-three year old sons relationship
with long-time fiancée broke down, and at the
very moment I was in the midst of an important
love scene, three toddlers (all three and under)
with dad trailing behind - arrived on the
It was to be short-term
"probably two or three months"
but continues fourteen months (*update - five years!) down the track,
with no likelihood of changing for a long, long
time. This has impacted tremendously on my
output, as you would imagine, and can be
incredibly frustrating, particularly when
deadlines are looming. But a few solutions have
Just as hubby goes out to work,
I have a job writing and Im
very adamant about instilling this information
into the minds of my grandchildren. It has been
explained on numerous occasions that nanny has a
job, just like pa, so when nanny is
working no-one can disturb her.
Notice the terminology
Ive used; job and
working. When we work, we get money.
If we dont work, we dont get money,
and we cant buy things. Ensuring your
children or grandchildren understand these
concepts in relation to your writing can make a
huge difference it certainly did for me.
For a while, I did try closing
the door to my office which was relocated
to my bedroom once the extras arrived
but the kiddies just cried and cried;
resulting in them becoming distressed and me
getting no work done. (Keep in mind, my son is
the main care-giver, not me.) Things had to
change, and change they did.
Rules were made. If the door is
left open, children are not allowed to run in and
out while nanny is WORKING. If they do, the door
is closed. This is not an option the children
They are allowed to come into
nannys office while nanny is working only
if they are reasonably quiet and well-behaved; if
not, they are sent out and the door
closed. They can bring some toys or paper and pen
to draw, again, as long as they dont
disrupt the WORK that is going on at the time.
Ive learned the hard way
to steal time. Before the children
wake in the morning, I write. Often I dont
have breakfast until they are awake. This allows
anything up to an extra hour of writing a day.
I also ensure that I write
while the kiddies nap. As much as I might feel
like taking a nap myself sometimes, (children can
be very draining!) Id much rather use the
peace and quiet productively.
I can also catch a couple of
hours writing when they go to bed at night, and
A few months ago, the custody
details changed. We now have the children here
fifty percent of the week. That means I have much
more quiet time than before.
Naturally, I take full advantage of those days
without the children, but all of the
aforementioned rules still apply, otherwise I
would get literally nothing done while
complaining and hating the rules Id set,
they mostly ignore me now, and go about their
business; playing games, drawing, watching
television, dressing and feeding dolls, er,
babies. Suffice to say, writing has become an
easier task with the children around.
Of course, there are days when
the children are just impossible and I dont
get a thing done while theyre awake, so
working around their naps becomes imperative. One
thing Ive learned is that television is a
major time-waster. I rarely watch television. In
fact, the t.v. is hardly ever switched on, except
for the childrens shows.
Next year, the oldest
grandchild starts school. We will have the
kiddies here five days a week, and their mother
will have them for weekends only. As you can see,
its important to my writing business and
productivity to ensure that the children
understand that writing is my job; that I
dont play games on the computer as
they do. (Thank goodness I have my own computer;
I dont have to share mine!)
As a writing grandparent,
Ive come to appreciate the problems that my
writing friends have complained about for years.
These days I even empathise!
author: Cheryl Wright
is an award-winning Australian author and freelance journalist. In
addition to an array of other projects, she is the owner of the
Writer2Writer.com website and the Writer to Writer monthly ezine for
writers. Her publications include novels, non-fiction books,
short stories, and articles. To keep up to date with her
publications and new releases, visit Cheryl’s website