Today MW welcomes a special guest and a chaptermate of mine, historical romance author Allegra Gray. Her first release, Nothing But Scandal, came out yesterday. (I picked up a copy and started reading it last night–it rocks!) Nothing But Scandal is currently featured on the Barnes and Noble Long List: “50 Books, CDs, and DVDs to Know About Now!”–Congrats, Allegra!
Hi, thanks for having me — such a fun site for readers, writers, and moms! The pic of the baby gumming the mouse really says it all
My topic today is one familiar to most–okay, all–of us: priorities. (And no, this is not a lecture!)
Most conversations I have with people I meet go something like this:
Them: “So, what do you do?”
Me: “Well, quite a few things, actually. I have a full time job in our country’s defense. I’m a single mom to two beautiful, bright children. And oh, yes, I write books.”
Them: “That’s amazing. You can’t possibly have time for all that.”
Me: “I don’t. But I find a way to do it anyway.”
Them: “Cool. I’ve thought about writing a book someday…”
Me: “If you really want to, why not make someday be today?”
The point is, I cannot imagine ever getting to a point in life where I will simply be sitting around with an abundance of time on my hands, and use that time to start spinning tales. There will always be family, jobs, children’s needs or those of aging parents, or any number of things that will compete for our time as writers. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Better a full life than an empty one
I’ll probably ramble in this post, but there are two main points I know I want to make, so I’ll get to one of them right away: You WILL make time for the things you want to do most. “Someday” may never come, so if you have a dream, you might want to just go for it. Why wait? Children must sleep sometimes. And yes, jobs pay the bills, but do you live to work, or work to live? Beyond that, other things can be sacrificed. If writing is what you want to do most, you CAN squeeze it in, even if it means you no longer watch TV, and the back side of all your take-out receipts are scribbled on because you had an idea that couldn’t wait (and the reason you got take-out in the first place was to free up more time for writing–or kids).
Now, I’m not saying you should never unwind (heaven knows I spend enough time goofing around on my internet groups or shopping for clothes my daughter doesn’t really need…but she looks adorable so in them!). It’s just that you are making choices, either consciously or unconsciously. And if you’re making choices that keep you from writing, you have to ask what really matters to you? If the answer truly is “writing,” reevaluate.
My other point (before I forget it), is that by pursuing your writing, you are being a role model to your children. They are watching you pursue your dream and give it your all. I may not be the room mom at school or the one bringing organic cupcakes to school parties (let’s face it, I’m lucky if we remember there IS a party), but in the long run I believe that my children will benefit from seeing both the time I do spend with them as well as understanding at some level that being a mom is only one part of my life.
I love doing things with my little ones, whether it’s building a snowman and reading stories or adventures like helping my son learn to ski or traveling to Disneyworld. And yet I think it’s important, especially for my daughter, to learn that my love for them does not mean that I sacrifice everything else about my life to cater to their needs and whims. Mothers are pressured to be perfect and to give of themselves and be martyr-like volunteers for so many things, that I think sometimes we lose sight of who we are as individuals–and that’s not the example I want to set for my daughter. Finding a good balance between motherhood and writing may be a constant struggle, but I’d rather be “in the game” than on the sidelines.
I definitely don’t have all the answers. And sometimes I’m stressed for lack of time. But in the end, I hope I get enough things right that my children will know two things: 1) they are loved, and 2) always pursue your dreams.
Happy writing, happy reading, and give your kids a hug (even if they’re grown!)!
It all starts with an innocent proposition
When her father dies, leaving her penniless and without prospects, Elizabeth Medford is faced with a horrible future: marriage to the utterly vile Harold Wetherby. Her family thinks he’s a brilliant choice, but Elizabeth has witnessed Wetherby’s cruel nature and knows a life with him would be a miserable one.. If only he didn’t want to marry her…but for that to be the case, she would have to have a damaged reputation, and despite her father’s missteps, Elizabeth’s own name is pristine among society.
But innocence is in the eye of the beholder
A brilliant plan is hatched: Elizabeth will organize her own ruin and escape the betrothal, leaving her old life behind. The only hitch is the man she hopes will do the ruining—the irresistible Alex Bainbridge, Duke of Beaufort. Alex is no stranger to scandal. But he has secrets of his own that make Elizabeth Medford a woman he should avoid at all costs–for both their sakes. He insists he will have no part in her crazy scheme…no matter how tempting she may be…
Visit Allegra at www.allegragray.com