Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Complicated Chaos

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Things are a little chaotic at my house lately. School starts next week and I have six children ranging from college age to first grade that will be going. So, as a mother, I am offering advice from which apartments look livable to which Spiderman lunchbox is the best looking. That is one thing about being a mother of a large family---it’s never boring.

I am dreading back to school as much as I am anticipating it. I love being home with the kids, with no set schedule, working and playing together. But, at the same time, I love when school is in session and there is a set schedule for working and playing together. I get a lot more writing done, generally, and the house stays cleaner for at least four to six hours longer than in the summertime.

This year, however, I have a one year old, and I know my writing schedule will be nonexistent. I’ve dealt with this before, but the thing is, I’m having so many ideas come to me, I don’t have the time to write them all down. I’ve gotten out my usual solutions to this problem like: having my notebook with me to scribble down ideas as they come, using my computer time wisely and not checking my email or Facebook until I’ve written down the scenes and characters that have come to me, and I’ve even given up a bit of time with my husband in the evenings to write a scene or two. But with so many ideas and a small amount of time, sometimes it doesn’t seem to be enough.

Time is a wonderful gift and using it wisely is sometimes very difficult for me. For instance, I know some of you early risers out there would probably tell me to just get up early in the morning to write. For me, I could probably wake up earlier to write, but spending my time sleeping after being up with a baby who is getting molars is more important to me right now so I’m not grumpy all day. Or maybe I could buy myself a laptop or Alpha Neo or whatever and draft at the pool or in the car or something. But making memories while swimming with the kids, or having them be a captivated audience in the car while we wait for a sibling and I can talk to them about their goals and dreams is more important to me right now.

But I need to find that balance.

My edits call to me in the night when ideas come for a certain scene or character and it needs to be written down. I’ve also thought of an idea for a non-fiction book, which I think could really help people, and I’ve had an idea for a national title, but I’m nervous about writing that. I’ve never been one to dream of a national title, but I’ve cheered my author friends on as they’ve pursued their national dream. I’ve watched the struggle that it is, and wondered why anyone would do that. But then, this idea came to me for a series that would be amazing, I think, but there are no LDS elements. So should I try to go national with it? Or just try to add LDS elements and stay in the market that I know?

Since my writing time is so limited, I know I need to prioritize my projects, but that’s where I’m having difficulty. I’m very careful with my writing and my family time, and I don’t want to miss out on anything. I love being a mom, seeing the world through my children's eyes and experiencing everything this world has to offer with them. I also love writing and creating and feeling like I’m developing the talents that I have. I like being able to show my children that when you work on your talents, when you have something that you love, that makes you feel good about yourself, you can enrich not only your life, but the lives of those around you. And I think I’m a better mom for trying. Most days.

One thing is for sure, from Spiderman to apartments to balancing writing and motherhood, life is colorful, complicated, and never, ever, boring.


At 8/13/2009 4:05 PM, Blogger Tamara Hart Heiner said...

wow. I'll have to add you to my 'most admired people' list. Impressive.

At 8/13/2009 4:47 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

You are a busy momma!

I'm with you on the back-to-school thing. I have a hard time sending them back but I do get more done at home.

As for going national, I say "go for it!" It's okay to branch out and do different things. That doesn't mean you'll leave your other writing behind either. =]

At 8/14/2009 12:44 AM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Tamara, thank you! Some days you just need to hear that you're okay, you know? So thanks for saying that.

L.T., it's the priority thing and the unknown, you know? Decisions, decisions . . .

Thanks for the comments!

At 8/14/2009 7:03 AM, Blogger susana said...

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At 8/14/2009 5:32 PM, Blogger Pat said...

Sounds to me like you know where your priorities should be already - it just feels crazy because... well, it is!
Keep on keeping on, but take those vitamins!
You'll be seeing great results in all ventures one day soon, and it will all have been worth it.


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