From time to time, I like to share information about resources, services, products, and/or experiences I find valuable. My hope is others might benefit, and I think it’s important to recognize good work when we can.
One such resource is the e-book, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing by Suzannah Windsor Freeman. I first reviewed the book when it launched in 2012. Below is an updated version of the original post. It provides a quick intro to Suzannah and an overview of all the book has to offer. If you’re trying to balance work and life, the information remains relevant, the tips and tricks still apply, and right now there’s a new, discounted price of just $4.99 if you use the coupon code EMAIL75 at checkout.
I return to this book periodically as a kind of review, to remind myself of the tools, tips, and efficiencies I may have forgotten or let slide. It’s a good way to hold myself accountable for some of the things I can control in the battle for work/life balance. Please, take a look and see if The Busy Mom’s Guide might be a useful resource for you, too. Thanks!
Trying to find time for the things we love in the midst of a busy family life can sometimes feel like a war. I’ve written a bit about the struggle to weed out what doesn’t matter in order to get to a place where we can accomplish at least some of the things we want to (in addition to all the things we have to) each day. Like most of life, it’s an ongoing process.
Fortunately, there are allies in the battle.
In the last several years, in addition to having her second child AND then a set of twins (for those keeping score that’s a total of four children, three under three) she’s also;
- established a popular blog, Write it Sideways
- gained five short story publishing credits in print—four in literary journals and one in an anthology—and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2011
- wrote a 75,000 word draft of a novel
- sold several freelance nonfiction articles and interviews
- wrote 30+ guest articles for well-known writing and lifestyle blogs
- co-created a 31-Day Better Writing Habits Challenge (with Jennifer Blanchard)
- created The Read Better, Write Better Workbook for Aspiring Novelists as a free gift to Write it Sideways subscribers
- and wrote The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing!
Since her twins were born (that’s right, I said since) she’s managed to;
- build, from the ground up, a well-regarded online literary journal, and that includes all of the administrative duties behind the scenes and managing a team of editors
- publish three short stories and one poem in literary journals and anthologies
- publish an article in The Writer magazine
- freelance as a copy editor (that never misses a deadline)
- continue as a contributor at Writer Unboxed and write guest articles for other blogs
- continue working on a number of short stories
- move her family across the world from Australia to Canada.
I feel overwhelmed just thinking about all of that. For a minute. Then I feel HIGHLY MOTIVATED because I see what can be done with a little planning, prioritizing, and hard work.
In the guide, Suzannah discusses how to set goals and priorities that fit into your family and life, and she shares suggestions about how to move efficiently from mom to writer and back again throughout the day. She also provides an array of practical, easy to implement tips to make more time for writing, including a FANTASTIC list of suggestions to streamline housework routines. (This is particularly helpful for those of us who are domestically challenged.) (Ahem.)
She shares insights on rewriting, blogging, and building your portfolio, provides specific examples for reference, recommends plenty of additional tools and resources, and each section ends with a list of action points and a worksheet to help jump-start the implementation effort.
Also, there are eight interviews with published novelists who are also busy moms, including Therese Walsh, Camille Noe Pagan, Julie Buxbaum, and others.
Like I said, it’s all very practical, very useful stuff.
Using some of Suzannah’s suggestions, particularly a time tracking tool, several of the streamlining tips, and the ‘short-burst’ method of working throughout the day, I’ve found even more time each week for writing. I’m also more productive during those work hours.
And although the book is primarily geared toward writers, the efficiency tips can be applied by anyone running a household, especially by those of us who work out of our homes.
If you already have the e-book, or decide to give it a try, please share your takeaways. I’d love to hear what you find most helpful. Thanks again!