How to Balance Motherhood and Writing

I’ve been a professional writer for the last decade, and for the last half of that decade, I’ve also been a mom. I deeply love being a writer, and I deeply love being a mom…but the two passions don’t always line up smoothly. Writing requires a certain amount of focus and quiet and time–three things that are often difficult (if not impossible!) to find as a mom. Kids don’t seem to appreciate the fine art of offering their parents uninterrupted blocks of quiet, focused time…

Still, I don’t think that writing and motherhood are mutually exclusive. In fact, I’ve found that the two can jive really well together–with some creativity and help. Over the years, I’ve talked with so many fellow moms who are struggling with how to stay connected to their passion as a writer while simultaneously holding down the fort at home (and also sometimes at work). And that’s why I’ve created The Writing Mom Course.

How to Balance Writing and Motherhood at The Writing Mom. www.thewritingmomcourse.com

This course covers the big questions and practical insights that women are looking for as they pursue writing in the season of motherhood, and I am SO EXCITED about it. We talk about issues of time, balance, writing voice, platform, and others–the list goes on! I’ve poured what I’ve learned as a writing mom into these six classes and worksheets, and I’d love for you to visit the new site, watch the video, and learn about how I want to encourage and equip you on your writing journey!

Also, this week only, I’ve knocked the price down to $39.95…which is cheaper than a family of four going out to eat! I’m hopeful that this can be a resource for you as you pursue your passion of writing as a mom!

Join me here, at The Writing Mom!

The Writing Mom Course at www.thewritingmomcourse.com

Write Your Story, Change Your Life

I started writing my story years ago; long before I was anywhere near a book contract or a marketing team, I felt that the Lord was inviting me into a process of writing my story down and–in the process–meeting him in the middle of it. I’m not sure I’ve done anything more powerful in my personal spiritual journey than write my memoir.

 

Write Your Story www.writingwithgrace.com

Memoir is the genre that I love the most, because it’s the genre that allows us–even gently forces us–to re-examine the lives that we have been living as we write them down on the page. A good memoir isn’t autobiography, and it isn’t a personal journal. It’s the true story of our lives written in such a way that others can understand, access, and be changed by it.

I’m not sure there’s a more dynamic form of the written word.

Our God is the God of story, and he loves making himself known through our stories; it’s how he’s wired us. We start loving stories as children, and we inherently know when a story has a satisfying or unacceptable ending, because we were made to long for resolution, peace, and hope.

Our God is the God of story, and he loves making himself known through our stories. Click To Tweet

If you’ve always wanted to write your story, or if you’ve been wondering how you can tell your story in a meaningful way, I’m going to suggest that writing your memoir might be one of the most powerful things you can do in your personal journey with Jesus. Down the road, might your story impact hundreds or thousands of people? I hope so! But in these days and months, writing your story will transform you most of all. I know that it has transformed me; I got to see Jesus at work all over again as I’ve written my memoir over the past years.

I just opened registration for the Writing with Grace Memoir course that I’ll be teaching this fall. To say that I’m thrilled about this class is an understatement; I’m practically jumping out of my chair!

Registration is open for Writing with Grace: Memoir! www.writingwithgrace.com #amwriting Click To Tweet

I’d love for you to join me over at Writing with Grace–you can even see the new video that we created just for this course.

If you’ve been aching to write your story, this is your time. I can’t wait to see you there!

Courage, Writing, and Publishing: My First Book

It’s a story a lot of people tell: that they’ve been writing since they were children, that they’ve been writing even when no one was reading, that they’ve dreamed about writing books for most of their lives.

That’s my story, too. I’ve been a writer ever since I learned to use words. First, I was writing my name and my age; a little later I was writing stories in blank books in second grace. Fast-forward a bit and I was writing my first poems, my first journal entries (diaries with locks and keys, anyone?), and then I was writing high school essays and fiction vignettes.

My first book contract: www.annswindell.com

Photo by Ann White Photography

In college, I learned to write outside of my comfort zone. A few souls–professors and fellow lovers of Jesus–led me through the forest of words with their own machetes, and once they led me far enough, deep into the thick of language, they handed the knife to me. I started learning to cut out words in college, to make language mean in the ways I wanted it to, and to take risks to alter my voice on the page in surprising, exciting ways.

These are things only writers really care about–the lilt of a sentence, the shape of a phrase, the cadence of a line. And I found, the further I went into words and story and the grinding turn of revision, that I met God in the process of writing in deep, deep ways. I loved that when I wrote, I felt his nearness; I felt, more than anything, at home. I loved writing not only as a hobby or a passion, but as a career and as a calling. And so, I went to graduate school.

There, in graduate school, I was stretched nearly to the point of breaking–not because I was so wonderful as a writer, but because I felt so weak. I remember my first workshop in my MFA program, when I realized how weak my writing was. The other writers sitting around me used words more deftly than I did, and they commanded language with a precision I did not yet have.

And I had a choice. Was I going to keep writing? Was I going to keep trying? 

No one was reading my words, other than a handful of friends and family. No one cared if I kept writing, or if I didn’t.

But I felt the courage of God to try, and to try again, and to try yet again. I stayed the course in graduate school because I wanted to see if I could do this–if I could write with power and grace and if I could find my own voice. And through the guidance of more professors–women who love Jesus and who wield words like flame–I learned. I grew. I found my voice as a writer.

That was years ago. I have still been writing, and I have been teaching, and I have still been seeking to grow and learn and stretch as a crafter of language. Although I write many places, I have been sharing my story and my heart in the form of a book that I have labored over in the quiet of libraries and coffee shops, unsure if anyone but Jesus would ever read it. I started this book not because anyone required it, but because I believe that this is part of the story I have to tell.

And just this past month, the team at Tyndale House Publishers offered me a contract to write this book with them. 

I am more honored than I know how to say.

I am more humbled than I can express.

And I am grateful to the Lord for the chance to write a book about my story that is, hopefully, a book that is ultimately about His story and his presence in the world. 

I can’t wait for you to read it. Although, you’ll have to wait–until 2017. Sorry! But in the interim, I’m going to write my heart out and, with His grace, seek to make this a book worth waiting for.

Thanks for celebrating with me!

If you want to join my online, six-week writing course for fellow writers, registration opens soon! Click here to learn more.