Arrrgh as if finding writing time wasn’t hard enough around work and study and kids, now the schools have evicted the Tiny Dictators for the summer and there’s even less time to be the perfect parent, world’s best worker, and get a distinction in your studies. Well, here at Writers’ HQ we say FUCK THAT SHIT.
Here are our clickbaity top tips to keep your words and sanity flowing over the next six weeks.
1. Like we said above: fuck that shit
Never in the history of humanity have parents been expected to do so much and be so perfect for their kids.
It’s not enough to just feed them occasionally any more, you now have to have a Pinterest perfect house, the finest hand crafted wooden toys, bake spectacular looking meals, attend every playgroup, fun day, and extra curricular club going, manage their friendships, handle their fucking Lego card collection, and ensure their emotional wellbeing is tippity top at all times because GOD FORBID a child ever faces any fucking challenges themselves.
Let us say it one more time with poise and clarity. Ahem.
Fuck. That. Shit.
Your parenting is fine. Your children will be fine. Love and care for your children as always, but remember that everyone grows up in their own way, regardless of what you do for them. Everyone eventually finds their own way to mess themselves up. Plus boredom cultivates creativity, so you’re actually doing them a favour by doing a bit less for them and a bit more for you.
The constant pressure and guilt you put on yourself helps no one. You are fine. You do enough. This summer, consider parenting via benign neglect and see if it opens up little windows of time in which you can jot down some notes or bash out a couple of hundred words.
2. Play dates
Yeah boi! Get your kids over to Sammy’s house for the morning and under no circumstances are you to tidy up. Sit down and write. And then you know what? You can invite Sammy back to yours the following week and the kids will bugger off into the garden to play and you WILL NOT TIDY UP instead you will sit and write some lovely, lovely words.
3. DO NOT TIDY UP
All the best writers have filthy houses. Truefact.
4. Reclaim your thinking time
You know all that time you spend hanging out the laundry or standing in windy playgrounds or mooching about outside dance class waiting for it to finish? Don’t spend it critically analysing the ground and formulating a system by which you get elected to the town council, sort all this mess out, and are then voted Prime Minister, fix the entire country, and are then elevated to KING OF THE WHOLE FRIKKEN WORLD and solve climate change and poverty and those weird internet trolls who think the Government should allocate them girlfriends and make the whole green and blue dot a blissful utopia and everyone worships at your golden, glorious feet. No don’t do that. Think about your plot instead. Duh.
5. Give up on the fantasy of peace and quiet
It ain’t never gonna happen, Jimbob McGee. Find the happy place in your head, zone out from the cops and robbers tearing up the house, see if you can sneak a peek at your notebook despite the noise.
6. Get up early
Ugh grind, right? Well yeah, but you’ve got to do the work to get the work done. Get up at 6am, stay in your PJs, don’t have breakfast, make a cuppa if you have to, open your laptop, sit down and write without thinking. Even if your kids wake up at 6:30am, you’ve still got a sneaky half an hour in before the day has begun.
You know what? If your kids have been running around like crazy people since 7am, it is FINE to put the TV on at 4pm, or even 3:30pm, or maybe even 3pm. While they’re zombied out for 45 minutes, sit on the sofa with them, laptop on your lap, and have a look over some scenes or tinker with your plot outline. TV off for dinner at 5 and then you’re into the bath-story-bed marathon and your day is done. Nowt controversial about that.
Tell us your brain! How do you do deal with the summer writing dilemma?