Ahhh yes. Blogging with Kids. It is kind of like Married with Children except there are no side ponytails and reckless cursing (hopefully!) and you are not married to your blog. But even in this season with young children, you CAN find the time to write and write effectively. Here are a few tips to get you off the ground (or that pile of matchbox cars you just fell in):
1.) Seize the Moment
One of my favorite quotes from Kat Lee, mom blog encourager extraordinaire from blogs such as Inspired to Action and How They Blog, is this: “Steal the hours in the day that no one in your family wants“. In other words, write when they are sleeping. Or napping. Or at grandmas. Take the hours in the day that are devoted to you and your children and do just that: SPEND TIME WITH THEM. But when it is 5am and it is quiet in the house? Steal those hours and seize the moments. Write with that warm cup of coffee and watch the sunrise. Write in carpool lines or a few minutes on your lunch break. Take advantage of that time right after you give those good night kisses and close the door. Maybe you are a nursing mama? Write in your head. If you are anything like me, I carry around stories in my mind all the time. Even if your child is an early riser, simply taking advantage of the snippets of time we are given can produce beautiful works of art!
2.) Write Fast
One of the many fantastic sessions from Allume 2012 was Tricia Goyer’s Balancing Blogging and Children. Having children does limit that writing time (hence seizing the moment above!) but she suggests learning to WRITE FAST. Sit down, produce the work. Sometimes I have to mull over exactly how to say what needs to be said, but when I have a focused time and sit down to write? Many times that helps me to write something. Just something. Just being able to get my heart on paper helps. I tend to carry a pack of 3×5 index cards with me, just to scribble down notes in case I forget them. This works well when we are out at the park, mall play area, even a museum. I don’t want to be hooked to a device when I am around my children. A simple pencil and paper approach gets the thoughts saved in an old-school manner, and you have a mini-outline when you are in “write fast” mode. Or take a simple picture for inspiration!
3.) Involve Them!
I wrote a post for Allume last year entitled “Let Them See You Write” . Sometimes we get nervous that our passions and our interests will take away or negate our season of caring for children. I say involve them! Let them see that writing is a tool to share God’s love with the world. Ask them for writing ideas. Use their funny sayings and sweet sentiments as inspiration. Even if you are a blogger who chooses not to include pictures of your children or their real names, you can still share your works with them, show their tiny hands playing in the mud, whatever inspires you! Involving my children in my writing, just as my grandfather involved me as a little girl, has been a blessing and a practice I will continue well into their teenage and adult years.
Blogging with kids can be an adventure–but you are recording memories that generations upon generations can read, and being your very own family’s historian. Also of note? As soon as I finished this post, my youngest had a major “potty accident”. Got these 600 words in, just in the nick of time!