When our kids were just babies, I wrote stories, published parenting articles, and tested recipes for Cook’s Illustrated. I look back and wonder how any of it was possible between playtime, story time, teething bouts, and diaper changes. Then, I remember. Naps. When they took them, naps were great. It was my time to get stuff done, or just collapse, which I did a lot.
One of my favorite afternoon nap rituals (once the kids were really asleep) involved a cup of tea and some homemade trail mix. I’d sit back and read a good book, or write whatever I wanted. It was a good habit, and very cathartic at a time when I needed both.
As the kids grew, my window for creating while they napped got smaller and smaller, until it disappeared completely. But, as a writer with deadlines, I increased the time I wrote at night, so I could do my “day-job” and work on the novel. Although, I could have used more sleep/recharging, as soon as I finished an assignment, I dove into creative writing. This went on for a couple years. I gained a little time back as the kids started school, but continued night writing until I published Red Ochre Falls. It was not an easy achievement, but so thrilling, it motivated me to continue writing.
Fast-forward. Already into the second manuscript, just hitting full stride, our family decided to embark on a European adventure. Schedules and writing were pushed aside to help plan our travel, and there has been little time for creative endeavors since—unless you count the ways we’ve tried to keep cool without air conditioning or window screens, while avoiding mini lizards and large, stinging things. We have all struggled, but are finding inspiration for new stories and making memories to last lifetimes. We also learned to appreciate fly swatters and frozen gelato more than ever.
Enjoy your summer adventures, wherever they take you! Kristen