How I Got My Writing Flow Back After Having Kids | Pen and Parent
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Getting in your writing flow

How I Got My Writing Flow Back After Having Kids

This is a guest post by Bree Sutton

If you sometimes miss the days before kids when your writing flow was just there, you’ll surely relate to Bree’s story.

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In my late 20’s, I was living the fantasy of being a writer. I had an eclectic lifestyle of writing, being a massage therapist, and also working as a market manager at a tech company. Writing was for fun, which allowed me to be in complete congruence with myself and my soul before I put pen to paper; there was no rush, no deadline, unless I wanted there to be. 

It was my norm, to be so deeply in alignment. In middle school through college, I floated through life with very few worries, very few challenges, and what did confront me was met with the fury of a confident, privileged, calm and wise warrior. I could take on anything, and I did, with a smile. I was the nicest badass you ever met.

In college while mid shift as a waitress at TGI Fridays, I brought a table their food, and the woman stopped me and said "you have this incredible light around you. I just want you to know that I notice it. No one else here is happy, and you are running around serving tables with a genuine smile and brightness." I said "Wow, I really appreciate you saying that." Then I bounced away unphased.

I remember that experience, even though, at the time it was totally normal. People were always telling me that I was different "there's just something about you." they would say. Looking back, I can tell that I was in complete flow and alignment. I had a strong spiritual life, I was in school becoming one of the greatest thinkers of my time (wink, wink), I was playing and coaching volleyball, I made good money as a waitress (for a single person with barely any bills), I had a great social life, and I was able to travel whenever I wanted to.

Those were the things that were important to me. The stressors of my life were managed through long coffee dates with my besties and a long run. That was it. THAT WAS IT.

Flash forward 15 years and I have to tell you that as much as having babies has been the most inspiring and beautiful experience in the world, it kind of messes with your flow. It is not the kids, it is the way life changes.

The passion to write has always boiled inside me but it is clear that raising a family requires that one spend time purposefully noticing areas of dissonance and fine tuning life until the dissonance disappears. Let me explain, in my solo days of writing, an evening would go like this:

I put on my comfy jammies and open the window to let in the perfect, warm San Diego breeze. Fill up my glass of red wine and set the bottle close by. I would shut off the overhead lights, light up several yummy candles, and cuddle up on the most comfortable couch with either my laptop or journal and pen - depending on my mood.

So there I would sit, for hours writing, laughing, crying, and stopping to listen to music, smoke on my porch or to enjoy the interruption of a friend who would pop by unannounced to gossip and drink. Words would appear on the paper without effort, pressure was low, and writing was more about a release of emotion, than to meet a deadline.

In contrast, writing with twins and a singleton, all under age 5 goes like this:

I lay the youngest down for her nap, and sit at my desk and open up the laptop. I yell at the twins that it is quiet time, and they need to "take it down a notch" while I'm simultaneously wiping snot off the computer with my sleeve. I take a breath and dig deep to focus and drown out the messy house, dirty dishes, and sound of Daniel Tiger on the T.V.

I start writing and notice that it is completely uninspired, so I procrastinate and check Facebook. Now it's 2 hours later and my daughter is up from her nap. When the kids go to bed, I pull my laptop onto the couch, and am half focused on writing, half focused on House Hunters International. At some point, I finally complete the piece that I started…at nap time…3 days earlier.

I love it. I really, honestly do. Life is as it should be, and I am learning what alignment and flow look like amidst the chaos of work, cooking for a family of people with food allergies, T-ball (which is the world's biggest commitment), trying to have a social life or whatever that self-care thing is, and having time to write, dream.

I recently bought a candle. It broke, like the glass busted into a million pieces. I put the candle and its broken glass in an old Pyrex dish and lit that thing anyway.

We live in an island off of south-east Alaska, so when I go out of town and buy frivolous things like candles that smell like happiness, I will go to pretty much any lengths to enjoy it. Why? Because they help me feel good. That is the goal. Feel good, find the things that make me go "ahhhhh, yessssss". Spraying eucalyptus oil in the shower while it heats up, opening windows to smell the fresh Alaskan air, even when it rains, drinking good wine, walks by the ocean, working by the ocean, anything by the ocean.

Hiking, eating and cooking, my kids' laughter, my kids' hugs, and kisses... sorry I got lost for a minute; what were we talking about? ah, yes, flow. When I feel flow in my life that is when all things are in congruence. I find the things that light me up and even though they are unlike the way things used to be, although they look different (way different), I am still sitting here in my jammies, on a comfy couch, with my laptop, a glass of red and a lit candle...writing.

Does your lack of confidence with grammar stop your flow? Amber’s got a solution. She’s put together a Grammar Refresher Course for Bloggers that will surely bolster your confidence.

How do you get in touch with your writing flow? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Bree Sutton is a freelance writer, and turned to blogging after having kids. She loves to share with people in a light-hearted and genuine way, how to find their writing voice after having kids. Check out her blog here.

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