First off, thank you Janine, for asking me to guest blog on your site! For those that do not know me, my name is Tera Fulbright and I am: author, mom, con-runner. My most recent short story, “Anne Bonnie’s Child” was recently released in Spells and Swashbucklers by Dragon Moon Press, and is available on Amazon.
Janine asked me to write a guest post for her blog about being a mom and writer. It took me a while to figure out what to write about being a mom and a writer. Until I realized several of the skills that I use for being a “mommy” also work in writing. More than anything, I suppose the one constant for me being a mom and writer is the word PATIENCE. Between finding time to write and raising a quizzical 4 year old (aka. the Geeklet), I am constantly reminding myself that the world will not end tomorrow…be patient.
One of the biggest challenges about being a mom, author and having a full-time job (that isn’t writing) is finding time to write. It is always a constant balance between the duties of the real world and to quote the blog Magical Words: BIC – Butt in Chair. As a result, I have been working on my first novel for two years.
Interestingly, many of the same skills I use for being a mommy, I also use as a writer. Of course, I have already mentioned patience, but organization, coming up with creative ideas and time management skills are three others.
Keeping things organized as a mommy comes from keeping a house full of toys from taking over (which still seems to be happening!) but I’ve learned to use the same skills in keeping my writing organized. After losing part of the novel, I now have about three places I keep copies of my writing: thumb drive, computer, and Dropbox. I also carry a notebook with me at all times in case I have an idea or thought I want to write down at work, while shopping or watching TV. I do the same thing in terms of presents for the Geeklet – though I use pictures on my phone for that.
Coming up with creative ideas, of course, is a challenge for both moms and writers. Our kids seem to be smarter than ever, so I am constantly trying to come up with ways to challenge the Geeklet a little more each day. She rolls dice for us during D&D games and has to read the numbers (addition is next). When it comes to writing, I am definitely not a fount of ideas. I have had three short stories published and one that I have submitted and is pending. Each time, I have had to try to come up a new idea on a short story. In my novel, I am still trying to come up with creative ideas to keep the novel flowing and moving along. I do try to write down random ideas or thoughts as I have them. Sometimes something will come of it, other times, you start down the page and find out there is nowhere for the story to go. I also try to keep an inspiration board on Pinterest for the novel.
Lastly, time management.
I have found three times that I can get the most writing done:
1) At cons. After the Geeklet has gone to bed, usually around 9pm, it is quiet in the room, there is still a ton of creative energy flowing from the con and I find that with a good cup of coffee, I can usually get an hour or two of writing in before crashing.
2) During lunch at work. I have a full-time job in Human Resources. I have found that if I force myself to close the door, I can usually eat and write for an hour a day at work. This is probably the hardest one to keep to; between various errands during the weeks, con-running and other personal type stuff, it is a good week if I get 2 days in at lunch.
3) When the Geeklet has been sucked into TV. Now, let me preface this: we do not let the Geeklet just watch TV non-stop and we do not use it as a babysitter. Nevertheless, occasionally, we do let her watch Disney Junior or Nick Jr. Both of which have some very good educational shows. For example, right now, she is watching “Bubble Guppies” which is a show she rarely watches, but it teaches many science and math skills.
Overall, I try to balance writing and housekeeping and playing with the Geeklet but it is always a challenge to find time to do it all. In the end; however, writing and being a mommy are the most rewarding jobs I have ever had.
Tera Fulbright has been a fan of the SF genre since first reading C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia in the 4th grade. Her experiences and interests range from costuming and stage combat to running conventions to writing.
Her first short story, “History in the Making” was published in the anthology Rum & Runestones in 2010. Her second story, “Faith,” was published in Michael Ventrella’s Tales of Fortannis: A Bard’s Eye View. In 2012, Tera’s third short story, “Anne Bonny’s Child,” was included in Spells and Swashbucklers, the follow-up to Rum & Runestones.
As a fan, she serves as the Quartermaster for the DMB Lightning’s Hand of the Buccaneers of the Atlantic Coast. Tera enjoys costuming; some of her costumes include Mara Jade & Padme of Star Wars, Hathor of Stargate: SG-1 and various lady pirates. Along with her husband, James, she helped run conventions such as StellarCon and RavenCon for over 15 years.
In her non-fandom life, Tera works as the Employee Relations Coordinator for Unifi Manufacturing, Inc. And in what, admittedly limited, spare time she has, she enjoys miniature painting, playing D&D, reading and spending time with her husband and daughter at their home in Greensboro, NC. To find out more please go to: http://terafulbright.com/