Managing May continues, and this week, I'd like to touch on something that's a little closer to home. You aspiring writers who are single or don't have a family of your own, go ahead and stick around. This applies to siblings and future relationships, in regards to your writing.
The most substantial consumer of our time as writers is none other than a family. In my case, an awesome wife and two rambunctious kids. I really don't mean that in a resentful way. It's something I've always wanted, but I'll be the first to admit that finding a quiet moment to concentrate (when everyone else is asleep), is not only difficult, but exhausting, as well as a precursor to insomnia and savage midnight pantry raiding.
This is young children I'm talking about. I can't imagine if it's any different with older kids or teenagers. That's a decade down the road. However, I've found it helpful to include my kidlets with my storytelling. I tell them my stories (or the direction I wish to go with them), before I've had a chance to write it. Since I write family friendly adventures (for now), I can get away with this a little easier at bedtime than, say, horror, for example.
This does two things for me. First, I've developed a verbal format, which I can then take to the computer once the little ones are down. This virtually cuts the "staring at a white screen" time in half. Second, whether they show it or not, the kids will see how passionate you are about writing and using imagination, as well as feel honored that they get to hear your new material first. A few local comedians have done this, to hilarious effect.
This is not the rule, just my thoughts on the matter. Every writer has their domain, with their own minions to nurture. While it may increase the time it takes to finish your WiP, it's good advice to give your kids the time they deserve. Same goes for your significant other. A parent who takes a healthy time out for their kids will help them feel important and guided, rather than the memory of a grumpy grownup, glued to a computer. (And the best part--you don't need super powers!)
How do you manage writing time with your family? Do you share your stories with them ahead of time?
I'm David, and we're out of diapers!