Tips for YA Lit: The Juggling Act

A long time ago, before I revamped this blog, I wrote about how it is difficult to write on top of being
a mother and a full-time career. It's a topic I see often floating around on social media and websites. I feel a lot of us in these modern times are forced--or perhaps choose--to wear so many hats (or roles) in life that it becomes a juggling act, one difficult to handle.

I am a mother. For instance, I have been interrupted by my one child five times before I got to this line. I may only have one, but as a special needs child who is extremely hyper, sometimes it feels like two kids and an animal wrapped up in one little body (like a young child-teenager-Tigger combination). People lament over how hard a stay-at-home mom life can be and I agree until I remember I do that AND more.

I'm a professor. Technically a Lecturer of English, but not many non academics know what that means. I'm a almost-professor, a step lower. but not the bottom. I absolutely love teaching college level young adults; they are part of my audience after all. But it gets hard dealing with grading at home while raising a child who needs more help than other children. And then I remember, there is MORE.

I'm a writer, a YA novelist, and part of the that entails being a blogger. Finding time to write is extremely difficult. I usually pound out a couple books each summer and spend time over the semesters revising and editing, honing them into something better with stolen time when the kid's in bed or school and everything is graded.

It's gotten easier, most of the time. Recently, I was put through the ringer though. I had to turn down interest in a third novel because I was already over booked and worked. First, there was my son and trying to battle the system to get him help--paperwork, denials, interviews, tests, doctor visits, new diagnoses, etc. Second, I had work to do on my debut novel, mainly we're at the editing and marketing demands part. Third, there was a hurricane in my area followed by a flood which canceled school for my child and me and my students. This meant grading was put off for weeks and I had to shift an entire course to being online all while the wild child was home 24/7. Fourth, I got a couple publishers interested in two of my manuscripts back to back. There were video meetings with the first publisher and contracts to sign. There was too much cropping up, despite my amazing support system (thanks hubby and parents). I soon would be playing catch up in work revamping lesson plans, grading back to back assignments and papers. I would be finishing up one novel and have to market it, while negotiating and starting a new venture. There was no way I could start another project in the midst of this because I'm ALWAYS writing new novels too.

I'm a writer and I'll give up a publication and wait for another chance so that I have time to write, to be a good mother, to be a professor my students truly learn from. It's okay to say no and to put something off. After all, if you're juggling too many things, something will end up falling.

Comments

  1. Life today is hectic for anyone and so much harder for someone like you who must juggle many hats because of choice and nessessity. You can and will do it because you must follow your path no matter how hard it is to do.
    Carry on and you will have it all no matter how hard you work for it.
    You are fortunate to have such soppier from your husband and parents.
    Good luck and keep juggling.

    A. Reed

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