Since you probably have a little one sleeping on your chest or a load of laundry to fold, I’ll get right to the point: it’s tough to find creative time after having a baby.
Aside from the tireless tasks of feeding changing, and sleeping, there’s you. And your sidelined writing practice. Once newborn intensity subsides, small slices of time begin to appear. And by small, I mean minutes.
But, that’s all you need to pick up your previous creative process.
Julia Cameron in The Right to Write, says we must grab for time. “Grabbing works,” she insists. After a baby, women are vulnerable, open and often reflective - ready to write.
Here are a few ways to find time and take advantage of this incredible period:
Since you probably have a little one sleeping on your chest or a load of laundry to fold, I’ll get right to the point: it’s tough to find creative time after having a baby. #writermom
Write in short bursts.
Initially, I had to write this way out of necessity, (naps), but after a while, I started to like the way it forces you to get your ideas out quickly, however ugly, knowing you can shape and mold later. A favorite trick is to write for seven minutes. It may not seem long enough, but it allows for the development of substantial ideas.
Give yourself permission NOT to clean.
A mom friend with three children once told me, you just have to be “good enough” the year after your baby is born; there’s no time to be a perfectionist.
Same goes for your house.
While I understand the need for a clean house to write (who doesn’t?), maybe do a ten minute tidy instead. It’s hard, but you can work in a mess if you pretend it’s not there. You’ll be gifted time to steal away, to type a nagging thought or read your book.
Put that baby in a stroller and head outside. It will bring your sanity back. Obviously great for your body/mind connection, you can simultaneously clear your head while honing your observation skills.
Write what you see.
Think about your work or don’t. Listen to music. Find peace. Walks can be wonderfully inspiring, bringing new ideas and needed perspective.
Plug into your writing community.
Or find one – either in person or online.
I’ve managed to find both and it’s reassuring to know that everyone, even those without kids, struggles to find creative time. Check in --you need support. Connecting with your “people” affirms that you are on the right track and working towards your writing goals.
Disconnect from Social Media.
Two, maybe three days a week, unplug from all social media completely. I bet you’ll discover you’re not missing anything. When you’re not lazily scrolling through Facebook there’s more time to deeply engage in reading or writing projects.
The newborn period can be magical and difficult, and a profound time for creation. You can carve out precious space for your writing. What results is a special symbiosis – clear, thoughtful writing that allows you to become mindful and present for your children.
More time to take pleasure in motherhood - and to sniff that sweet baby head.