Okay so it isn’t always ‘Be quiet’, but for those of us who have kids it can be hard to explain why we are standing at the kitchen worktop frantically typing. My kids are a bit older now, so they understand that this is ‘work’, but that doesn’t stop them from wandering in and out, asking unsolvable maths homework questions (they are both far better at maths than I will ever be), and trying to kill each other whenever I get to a vital bit.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, and I love that they adore reading, that they make up funny little stories of their own, and hopefully are inspired by the sheer volume of books in our house. It isn’t only writers who struggle to fit in time to work amongst childcare and, that would be every parent who has ever worked from home. I am very lucky to be able to run my business from home, and no question is works for us. But it requires a massive amount of organisation. I try not to work when the kids are home from school, but I have to fit in something in the holidays, or my books would not get written, and my publishers would be asking why deadlines have been missed.
It isn’t just the kids either… If I’m working from home, the dog and cats stare crossly at me, until I feed/walk them. The washing grinds to a halt in the machine just as I get into the flow of my 2,000 word daily goal. Occasionally the phone rings with someone wanting to sell me double glazing, or check my PPI claim.
I also have another part time job, which requires even more organisation. That is nothing unusual – most of my friends also juggle two or three jobs and family life. For those moments when the writing is going well, and the characters have come alive, it doesn’t matter if you are at the kitchen worktop with the kids doing sprints across the floor, or sat on a wooden bench at karate practice, melting on a bum-numbing plastic chair at swimming lessons, or sat in the car outside school. Those moments when it all comes together are equalled only by the pleasure a writer gets when the book is finally published, and the readers enjoy it!