Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writing for Children, with Children

I wouldn’t be a children’s author if it weren’t for my kids. Their love for books inspired me to take my writing career in a new direction and as a result, my first middle grade novel with MuseItUp, Animal Andy, will be released in August 2012. My children provide me with lines of dialogue, story ideas and honest feedback on my works in progress. Being a children’s author is a reward I never imagined would come as the result of being a parent.

Having children also presents one of the biggest challenges to being an author—finding the time to write. Between work, children’s activities and household management, there is little time left for much else. But writing is not a luxury; it’s a necessity and one that preserves my sanity. The way I ensure it becomes part of my daily routine is to schedule it in.

I’m an over achiever when it comes to organization. I live by my Franklin Planner and schedule most hours of my day, including down time. When unexpected situations arise, such as an ill child, I shuffle things around and reschedule my day. It’s an easy way to plug in my writing time to make sure everyone’s needs are being met.

Because no two days are the same with kids, I have to be flexible as to the time of day I’m able to write. Some days it’s after I drop the kids off at school in the morning. Other days it works better after school. Once the kids have had snacks and I’ve supervised homework, they go off and play with friends for an hour, and I can write until it’s time to make dinner. Writing ideas strike me at all times of day and night. As long as I keep good notes, I’m able to make my writing time productive.

I’m passionate about my kids and passionate about my writing, and staying organized helps me be successful at both. There are days when life prevents me from writing at all. But having a time set aside each day to write ensures I have dedicated time for my kids as well. I’m a more present parent, and my kids are more content knowing they have my full attention.
--Kathy Sattem Rygg


Maggie Toussaint said...

How lovely, Kathy. One of my first efforts was for my children. I wrote about how growing up in the 60s was much different than growin gup in the 80s. Wishing you well.

Murder in the Buff coming Friday, March 9 from Muse

cleemckenzie said...

I suppose if this weren't such a challenge we wouldn't treasure the result as much--beautiful thoughts set down in words on paper, beautiful children to watch grow.

Congratulations on being passionate about both your writing and your kids.