When I was a stay-at-home mom and my husband worked a full-time job with set hours, finding time to write was extremely easy. My daughter, Evie, slept the whole night in her room till about 8 or 9AM. Hubby woke early for work, and I’d get up with him. After he left I’d have about two or more hours of quiet time to sit at my desk and write. I was even able to drink my coffee while it was still hot. It was amazing.
Soon, however, our financial situation required me to find work outside of the house. During my second week on the job, my daughter’s sleep pattern changed drastically. She refused to nap during the day (so no nap-time writing). Bedtime became a struggle, and now every morning I wake up to her in my bed, even though she went to bed in her’s the night before. And being extra tired from working, parenting, and trying to clean the house (which is a whole other topic itself), getting up early to write was impossible as I needed those extra few hours of sleep.
“That’s okay,” I told myself. “We have a gate in the middle of the room that will keep Evie on one side of the room. As long as I put something on for her to watch, I can still sit at my desk and write.” Let’s see how well that went:
Whenever I sit down at my desk (to do *anything*), usually within about five to ten minutes she’s climbing the gate. Now, if she would just sit with me while I’m on the computer, I wouldn’t have a problem. But she tries to get into everything on that side of the gate that she is not allowed to get into. And if I yell at her to stay on her side, she cries. Once this began I started leaving my desk and computer alone so I wouldn’t have to fight her. Next thing I knew, weeks were going by without me having written anything. Something needed to change.
My first solution was to sit on my bed with my laptop and write there. I tried that, but it didn’t work out. I have an Alienware M17x R4 17inch gaming laptop computer. It weighs almost ten pounds. It’s a beast. And while it’s easy enough to pack up and take with me somewhere (which is GREAT), it’s not exactly portable for my needs as a writer.
When we got our tax refund last week, hubby asked me what I wanted to get. I told him I needed a small laptop for writing. While I really wanted an apple computer, that wasn’t in the budget. So we went to Walmart and found THIS:
It’s an HP Stream. It’s small (14 inch), cute, purple (my favorite color), and it only weighs 3 itty bitty pounds. It has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of hard drive space (but comes with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage), and is perfect for what I need it for. The battery life is also amazing, so I can be working on it while Evie plays around me for as long as I need.
I’m confident that even with the demands of parenting, housework, and my part-time job, I’ll be able to increase my writing productivity with this little cutie.
To my fellow writers with families: what changes have you made to help increase productivity with your writing?