In Honor of Mother’s Day
I often hear from moms with kids still at home who are working toward becoming published authors. No question, it’s a difficult season of life in which to find the time (and the focus) for a writing career.
There are the usual frustrations of trying to find balance (whatever that means) like so many of you wrote in the comments on Friday. It’s also frustrating when you’re working so hard (writing and submitting, and writing and submitting) hoping to contribute to your family income, without getting a book contract.
But I believe that if you’re a mom with no immediate financial necessity to get an outside job and you’re also a writer, then you’re in a very special and wonderful place. I encourage you to look at the next 5 to 15 years (however long until your kids are grown) as a gift. This is your time to raise your kids; and this is your time to prepare the soil for your future writing career. And if you’re a non-fiction writer, you may be preparing for a speaking career as well.
You have no immediate need to publish, so you have the luxury of time. If you’re a novelist, it’s time to keep working, working, working on your craft, becoming a better writer all the time. You can be reading books on craft, working with a critique group, and taking a weekend away from the family each year to attend a writers conference. If you’re a non-fiction writer, this is also your time to build a platform. You may be setting yourself up as the expert or go-to person for your topic, writing a killer blog and growing the traffic, writing and publishing articles, and building yourself as a speaker, starting locally and slowly going wider.
You can think long-term. Don’t fret that you’re not getting published this year. You may or may not be published while your kids are still at home. But use these child-rearing years to prepare yourself for the moment that the kids are no longer your daily, full-time occupation. Your time and availability will open up, and if you’ve prepared yourself, you’ll be ready to burst on to the scene as a full-time writer and/or speaker.
A large number of speakers and authors are in their 50s, 60s, even 70s. That’s when people have more wisdom to share, after all. So there’s no shame in being a “late bloomer.”
If you’re already having publishing success, great. If not, don’t despair. You have the gift and the luxury of time. Use it wisely!
Photo from Photobucket.
Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent