Juggling writing with motherhood - Ericka Clay

27 May 2015 / Leave a Comment

Ericka Clay, author of recently published Unkept (Bannerwing Books), founder of TipsyLit and one of my favourite online writers and bloggers tells us how she juggles writing with motherhood. She suggests that we embrace our imperfections and that writing mothers are almost oxymorons ...

How do you juggle your writing time with being a mother? 
I try to get as much writing done for the four hours Ava’s in junior kindergarten. I think the key to this (and to anything really) is not beating myself up if I don’t complete my day’s goal. When it comes to it, my daughter’s the most important thing, so if that means I have to push back my writing (which often feels like air is being sucked out of my lungs) I do it anyways. Raising a confident, kind and thoughtful human being is much more important to me than publishing a stack of books. And trust me, I have to remind myself of that constantly when the words start building up.

How is your writing viewed by others in your household? 
My husband and daughter think it’s cool I’m a writer and my husband, in particular, is kind of in awe of what I do considering his background is in chemical engineering and we have two very different brains. That being said, he also thinks I’m an idiot savant in the simple fact that I can write a poem in half a second but have no idea how to change an air filter. He would be correct.

The dogs just want me to feed them.

What do you think are the main challenges for writing mothers? 
Finding the balance between being this nurturing mother figure and being this feral creature who wants to pluck at words until we get to the bloody stump of what we’re trying to say. People have way too many expectations of mothers (and women in general) and these expectations don’t often jive with what being a writer is. As a writer, I’m an open-minded potty mouth who snorts at the concept of hand sanitizer. As a mother, I buy hand sanitizer in bulk and find myself wiping down surfaces 90% of the day. Writing mothers are almost oxymorons, but I find mastering this kind of challenge good for society’s soul.

What advice or tips would you give to other writing mothers? 
First, I’d give everyone a hug. I think hugs are underrated and we all need one, especially us writer types. Secondly, I’d say ignore the pressure to be perfect, which is so difficult to do but it’s an absolute must. Perfection is silly and uninteresting. I mean, would you want to read a book about a perfect woman who washes her hair every day and never accidentally locks herself out of her house? Me neither.

Tell us about your latest book and why you'll one day be pleased for your child(ren) to read it ... 
This past March, Bannerwing Books published my novel, Unkept, a book that I actually dedicated to my daughter. It’s about two women who are simultaneously struggling with impending motherhood and the path they take together to learn to forgive themselves and start a fresh chapter in their lives. I want Ava to read this book, to read about two women who are screw ups in their own right, and to know there’s nothing in the world that she can do that would make me stop loving her. We all have skeletons in our closets and there’s no shame in letting them dance, especially if that means finding a truer version of ourselves in the process.

Visit: http://erickaclay.com/

Also in the juggling writing with motherhood series: 
Liz Madrid writes contemporary new adult as well as paranormal fiction and her novel Loving Ashe has had over a million reads on Wattpad in less than six months. Liz Madrid suggests that writing mothers set up a schedule to write each day and that they also find balance outside of the family to recharge those writing batteries. Read Liz Madrid's responses here ...

Tess Woods's debut novel Love At First Flight has just been published by HarperCollins Australia's Impulse. Her advice for other writing mothers is simple - get a good coffee machine, a cleaner and build a community of other writing mums around you! Read Tess Woods's responses here ...


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