Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Author Keri Ford: Telling Us About Writing and Mothering

Making Her Nights (Uninhibited in Apple Trail, Arkansas)It is no news that Beck's Book Picks is a huge fan of author Keri Ford. In case you didn't know,she has a new book out called Making Her Nights. This is book 4 in her Apple Trails Series.

Sit back and relax and enjoy this post on how Keri, a stay at home mom, finds the time to write while raising her son who is currently 4.

Writing and Mothering – A Balancing Act

When I got pregnant, I was already writing for a year or more, was working with the newsletter for one my local writing groups and the head editor suggested I do an article on parenting and kids. A sort of what I expect and tips to balance. She suggested I contact a few authors who had kids for their opinion and for what system they do.
So I did! And I *wish* I still had that article, but I have no idea where it is. Why I don’t remember what sources said what specific thing, I do remember their advice.

1-This is my job. And by doing my job, I’m teaching my son dedication to what I love. He won’t grasp this concept at a young age, but when he’s older, he’ll get it.

My son just turned four, so he’s not getting the dedication, but he is understanding we make money when we work. And we can’t go back to see Mickey Mouse until we make a lot more money. J He started telling me this past week that he would sword fight on the wii and for me to just stay there and work to make money for Mickey Mouse.

2-Set a schedule so he knows what’s going on.

I admit…I slack so hard at this, but we try! My son is just not a schedule kind of kid. Even as an infant, I couldn’t maintain an eat at this hour, stay awake, nap at this hour. The only thing I could count on was nightly bedtime. So, I adjusted my schedule around his needs.
Now that he’s older, I get longer stretches at the computer. Sometimes I work harder in the mornings, sometimes its afternoons. My boy has been brought up knowing while mommy works, it’s time to entertain himself and his imagination is just off the hook for it. I hear him constantly going on “pirate adventures” or “saving the world” with his toys.
Our strongest schedule now is snacks at three and then outside time if he wants after that.
Before he started preschool, we would take ten to fifteen minutes after breakfast to learn our letters. Anything longer and he was too restless and bored with it. Now that he’s writing, I want to get in the habit to practice tracing his letters and basic math so he doesn’t lose those skills over summer.

3-One of the authors told me they would set a blanket up on the floor by their feet with toys so they were nearby.

I used to have a play room and my computer was in there…then the playroom, well, I’m not sure what happened to it. There’s no toys in there anymore. Now Son mostly plays in the living room. That’s where my computer is. I’m right there where I can constantly work through the day while still keeping my eye on him. If he’s doing something he’s proud of, he can holler at me and I can see from my desk, look, then get back where I was on my latest story. I’m not the type of writer who can get lost in my story and forget the world around me.
It can be tough to be jerked in and out, but in the end, it gets a lot of the job done. This is why you find me on twitter pretty much all day long.

It’s all a balancing act. I give a little. He gives a little and we’re in a rhythm that works for us. Some days are better than others. We’re not perfect, that’s for sure. My house suffers for it because there are toys everywhere. I’ve done everything I know to teach son to put toys away after he’s done playing with them, but he just hasn’t grasped that. Maybe one day we’ll figure that out!

Thanks for having me out today Rebecca!



KeriFord said...

thanks for having me today!

Paws said...

Love Keri Ford's books!

KeriFord said...

thanks Paws!

Anonymous said...

I love hearing how authors work and when they have little kid I'm sure it can get extremely hectic! Love love love your work Keri....but you know that :)

KeriFord said...

:) thanks Nikki! I love YOU! ...but I think you know that too!

Georgie Lee said...

I'm in the middle of the mommy/writer balancing act. Glad to hear other stories and ideas for making it work.