New Release! - Haunted Ever After by Juliet Madison
I took a vacation this summer from everything writing-related. My littles were off for the summer and after busting my bootie to get Back to December out the door, I knew I needed a break -- not only for myself, but also for them. We traveled, we played, we chilled and we had fun. The summer flew by and last week they started school. My oldest little is in third grade and my littlest little is in morning kindergarten, which gives me about three uninterrupted hours of writing time...or at least it should. Projects that have gathered dust all summer are now screaming for my attention. All extra-curricular sports and activities have now started back up. And I've found that once again, balancing life with writing is HARD! Other than posting on social media, returning emails and getting this post ready, I haven't done any writing since the littles went back to school. Not.One.Word. I know, right?!?!
Today, I am honored and excited to introduce a fabulous author to my blog. Juliet Madison is the author of five (!) novels and has just released her sixth, Haunted Ever After! She's here to talk to us about how she balances her writing with parenting. Haunted Ever After, was written amidst the chaos of her own life and often late into the night. When I found that out, I knew I needed a lesson on balance from someone who clearly knows how!
Congratulations on the release of Haunted Ever After, Juliet!!! I can't wait to read it!
Guest Post - 5 Tips to Balance Writing with Parenting - Juliet Madison
As a single mother and a busy writer, a lot of people have asked me ‘how I do it’. I’m never quite sure what ‘it’ really means, but I guess if I’m churning out books and my son is growing healthy and happy then I must be doing at least something right! Life has been a challenge in many ways but also extremely rewarding, and I hope these little tips I’ve picked up will help other writers and parents out there.
1. Be in the moment:
As a parent it’s easy to keep thinking and planning ahead, remembering what needs to be done next and next, and keeping on top of responsibilities and commitments. It’s good to be prepared, but overdo it and you can lose sight of each moment. Moments are precious, and ‘now’ is all we really have, so remember to stop and take a breath and focus on the moment. If you’re in parenting mode but wishing you were writing, or in writing mode but feeling guilty that you’re not ‘parenting’, then no one wins. Choose what you will focus on at a particular time (though sometimes you have to multitask, especially with young kids!), and give it your complete attention without guilt or worry. My son knows that when my writing timer is on, barring anything urgent, I am not available to discuss the latest video game or what’s for dinner, but when the time is up I will be there for him.
2. Don’t be hard on yourself:
Get rid of the guilt! We do our best, and that is all anyone can ask. If your writing is suffering because you’ve been caught up with responsibilities, let it go and just get back to it when you can. Many writers have to make time for writing around other jobs and parenting, don’t be upset if sometimes things fall by the wayside. That’s life! Get on with things the next day and just focus on making progress.
3. Take opportunities:
I sometimes write even when I only have ten minutes available. I could get a page of good words done in that time, and every page counts, so don’t think it’s not long enough. It’s amazing how it all adds up when you get into the habit of writing short bits here and there. It can take practise to learn how to switch into writing mode quickly, but the more you do it the easier it gets. So take opportunities when they’re presented to you. Got some time while dinner is in the oven? Write. Do you really want to read a glossy magazine in the doctor’s waiting room or do you want to get some words down? It’s up to you.
4. Let go of perfectionism:
Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect, just focus on getting the story down first. Perfectionism can stifle creativity, so let it go, you can always come back later and polish things up. Perfectionism can also relate to wanting to make sure everything is perfect before writing. Kids are settled, house is quiet, candles lit. music to set the mood…etc. This is nice, and if you can do this regularly then yay for you, but if you always wait for things to be perfect you’ll find it difficult to write under other circumstances. Like when your son is playing a noisy action game on the Xbox and you’re trying to write a romantic, emotional scene. I’ve learned to zone out and write amidst the chaos, so embrace the mess and noise and get writing!
5. Remember priorities:
Your writing is important and it deserves to be high on your list of priorities, but don’t lose sight of what life is all about – connecting with those you love and being there for them. Even though I set a writing timer, if my son has something important to tell me or he’s having a problem, I will stop. If not it can wait, but sometimes you need to stop and be present. If your child is excited and wants to tell you something, stop and connect with them properly, not half-heartedly while still typing. If it’s not urgent then let them know when you’ll be able to have a chat with them, eg; in thirty minutes, or however long your writing session will last. Then they know they are important and you’re not just fobbing them off, and you can avoid resentment building by also honouring your writing priority.
Now, keeping those five tips in mind, and remembering that Haunted Ever After was written amidst the chaos of Juliet's life, here's the blurb...Doesn't it make you want to read more? I know it makes me want to!!
When bride-to-be Sally Marsh attends a weekend away with her bridesmaids, the last thing she expects is an uninvited guest: the ghost of her fiancé's ex-girlfriend.
Red is quirky, loud and distracting, and Sally is soon desperate to find the reason behind her presence, so she can rid herself of her embarrassing shadow before the wedding day. Unfortunately, the ghost is reluctant to share the reason for her existence, but very enthusiastic about Ty, the surprise hen’s night stripper who keeps showing up at awkward moments.
Time is running out for Sally, but it’s also running out for Red. By the time all is revealed, Sally will be tested to the limits, and go above and beyond everything she’s ever believed in order to ensure not only her own happy-ever-after – but Red’s as well.
Don't forget about the GIVEAWAY! Win a bracelet of your choice from Mantraband worth $25 USD, plus an ebook of your choice by Juliet Madison. Open worldwide, closes 15th Sept. a Rafflecopter giveaway