October 25, 2013

Diapers and Dialogue

By Kelly Martin

At thirty, I got the writing bug. I’d written fan fiction on and off for years… yeah, I admit it. However, I never imagined writing a full-length novel with characters I created. It seemed too much like a faraway dream that couldn’t possibly happen.

I also happened to be a mommy to three small girls: six, five, and one.

Was there even a way to juggle diapers and dialogue? Characters and chaos?

In November 2011, I decided to take the plunge. A month later, I had the very rough draft of what would become my first published novel, Crossing the Deep.

I know we, as parents, find it hard to make time to do things ‘we’ love. When we have kids, it is as if our lives take a backseat to taking care of them. 

So, how can you balance writing, marketing, social media, and kids—along with a house, clothes to wash, dishes, a spouse, etc?

1) Have a good support system. It doesn’t have to be your spouse but have someone who is excited about your books. It can be an internet friend or sibling. My support system has always been my sister who has read every draft of everything I’ve written.

2) Don’t take rejection personally. By rejection, I mean people in your life who think writing and trying to get published is a waste of time. Smile, nod, and go on with achieving your goals. Lean on your supportive friend.

3) Buy a laptop. The most helpful tool I have in writing with small kids is my laptop. I can take it into whatever room they are playing in, write, and do my social media routine for the day while they are playing. I can also interact with them and stop when a game of play pretty, pretty princess is in order.

4) Have your kids involved in your writing. We have play laptops for the girls. When Mama sits on the couch and writes, my youngest will get hers and drag it up beside me. She dictates her own books while Mama is writing. She’s now three and can make up some good stories—mostly about cats and the potty.

5) Make writing a priority, but not your MAIN priority. Don’t forget you are a person. You have hopes and dreams, plans and goals. Don’t give up on them, but include your kids in achieving them.

It can seem daunting when the dirty clothes pile is growing and the cleaning has to be done. Take five or ten minutes to pick up, throw a load of laundry in, sit back down and write. Write every day, even if it’s just one sentence. 

My favorite writing moment was when someone asked my oldest what job Mama had. She didn’t say teacher, which I am. She said, “Mama is a writer. She writes many books and people love to read them. I wanna be a writer when I grow up too.”
Kelly Martin a southern girl who writes... a lot. She is the author of Grace Award winning, CROSSING THE DEEP. She is also the author of two other Amazon bestsellers, SAINT SLOAN and THE DECEPTION OF DEVIN MILLER. By day, she is a teacher. By night, she has her hair in a bun and her fingers on a keyboard. She loves God, is addicted to chocolate, and would rather write than sleep. Kelly loves a good mystery and believes in Sherlock Holmes. You can find her at Twitter: Facebook:

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