Thursday, October 4, 2012

Balance and the Mommy Writer by guest author Natalie Bahm

Every so often we have extra bad days. Maybe the kids are being difficult or our husbands are cranky or we went to bed too late and are over-tired. We might complain in a two hour long phone conversation, write a nasty email or even cry in the shower. And then all of a sudden, we get an email from a fellow author whose heart was touched by a little boy she'd never met. And whoosh. All of the sudden, everything is put back into perspective. Thank you, Natalie, for bringing us back to reality. You are truly an inspiration.
Hi, my name is Natalie and I’m a writer and a mom.  When I first started writing I thought I was doing something sort of unique—raising three kids and writing a book on the side.  Then I started blogging and realized there are SO MANY mommy writers out there. All of us are trying to balance caring for our children and chasing our dreams.

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t always balance those two things well.

Three years ago I was immersed in writing and networking and trying to make this dream come true.  I was so totally focused on it that I let other things in my life slide.  And then I had a MAJOR reality check.

I was pregnant with my fourth baby and I got really sick.  Then I had my baby boy and he was terribly sick.  He spent two weeks in the NICU learning how to breathe and eat on his own.

Suddenly all of the writing and publishing stuff that I’d been stressing about for months didn’t matter at all.  The only thing I cared about was getting my baby healthy.

I gradually got back into writing as he grew and got stronger, but I tried to do it in a much more balanced way (“tried” is the operative word here, I definitely mess up some days). 

 I set aside certain hours (usually naptime) to do all of my writing and blogging. This doesn’t give me much time—usually just an hour or two a day. I write slowly and I’m not nearly as good a blogger as I was before I had my baby.  But I feel better about the way I spend my time.  My little guy is two-years-old now.  He’s more work than an incontinent puppy with a chewing problem, but everyday I remember how grateful I am to have him.

 He’s the only one of my kids who is home all day and I really want to enjoy this time. When he heads off to school I know I’ll have way more time to write, but I’ll also miss his sweet baby kisses and exclamations of “I lub you, mommy.” I constantly remind myself that publishing is not a race or a popularity contest and I need to make it work in a balanced way.

 My first book, THE SECRET UNDERGROUND came out last Friday.  It’s a very special project that me and my agent, Sara Megibow, put together as a fundraiser for a little boy named Jayden who’s been in the hospital on and off since birth.  You can learn more about the book and the project HERE.

 Every penny of the profits will go to help Jayden and his family.  You can buy a copy through any major eBook retailer.  HERE are some links.

 Thank you, Lisa and Laura for letting me visit today!

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