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Finding time to write as a busy parent can be challenging. In a previous blog post, we offered tips to help you write your novel no matter how old your children are.
Writing can feel daunting when doing it all alone or without much support. Where do you start? How do you work out a plot problem? How do you find inspiration? Fortunately, there are solutions.
Seeking out writing groups and communities of fellow writers can help you stay motivated as you push forward with your words. Here’s where to begin:
One of the easiest places to find other writers who understand what it’s like to carve out writing time in between episodes of Bluey or during naptime, is online. The writing community is especially active on Twitter and Instagram (search hashtags like #amwriting or #writerslife to discover accounts) and Facebook has many groups dedicated to the craft of writing.
Online events and challenges are another place to look. National Novel Writing Month has a vast community where you can find writing groups in your own area. Find a cheer section who understands what you are going through!
Writing podcasts are helpful for inspiration, tips and more. Many podcasts have an online community as well. Search for ‘writing’ where you usually listen to podcasts and explore what’s available. One recommendation is to check out The Sh#t No One Tells You About Writing, where bestselling author Bianca Marais interviews authors and discusses the writing process.
Ask a fellow writer and they probably have a book or two to recommend. Whether it’s Stephen King’s On Writing, or Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, there are books upon books about writing a book! Recommendations will help you quickly get to some of the best material.
Offline - in your own community
You may only need to turn to your own backyard to find the support you are looking for. Your public library may offer a writers' club or workshop. Your town may have its own writers' festival. Search out opportunities locally and try to get involved.
Finding a writing community or a place to be supported in your writing journey as a parent can help motivate you to keep going, reduce the feeling of ‘it can’t be done,’ and remind you that taking time away from parenting to write is worth it.
If you continue writing, eventually you’ll want to find beta partners and critique partners too; writing doesn’t have to be a solo adventure. Building your support systems in the early stages of your writing will encourage you to keep going in between bedtimes, tantrums and cuddles.
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