It’s challenging enough being a working mum, juggling a million and one tasks into a packed day. But if this mum also has a burning desire to write a book, how can she manage to fit that into the day too?
This was one of the questions frequently asked at Cambridge Wordfest over the weekend, and the answer was always the same – she has to learn NOT to put the kids first.
According to a panel of experts, there are lots of working mums who are writing books, you just have to get stuck in and farm out the kids. The key is to learn how to be “as selfish” as your husband or partner, said one speaker. And after all, Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier managed to fit in writing around their children decades ago.
Sophie Hannah, the highly acclaimed mystery writer, told an excellent crime writing workshop which I joined that the only way she managed to write each day was by having firm childcare plans arranged at an early stage. Such are the demands on her daily life, spending the morning replying to emails from readers and dealing with photo calls and media requests, that she finally sits down to write her best sellers between 10.30 pm – 2 am. Just as I am getting ready to watch Newsnight and turn in for the night, Sophie is literally burning the midnight oil and hatching her plots.
The reason I couldn’t resist buying her book, “Lasting Damage“, which Sophie is holding in the picture, is because she was inspired to write it while house hunting in Cambridge and she ended up buying a house which belonged to my blogging friend Geoff , and I’ve been hoping to meet her ever since. Sophie is not only an extremely accomplished writer, but also great fun too and a terrific tutor and motivator.
I really enjoy ghostwriting, but who knows, maybe one day I will attempt my hand at writing a psychological thriller, making the “improbable possible, or the impossible probable”.