Life Coach Magazine

Special Challenges for the Home-Schooling Writer

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt

Writers who are also home-schooling moms encounter special challenges when working on their careers.  I’ve been analyzing how to work through those challenges in order make the most of every writing opportunity.

My first post in this series covers planning the project in order to jump directly into the story-world anytime a chance to write pops up. The second post deals with finding and creating that time, as well as ideas to help make the most of every moment. The third post detailed where you could write when you’ve successfully carved out some of that time.

This is the last post in this series, and it deals with the general state of most home-schooling homes.  After all, when you’ve got a house with several children in it, you’re going to have noise. Now that may not bug you at all, but the wrong type of sound distracts the tar out of me.

Create the Mood

Like I mentioned before, I lost my office this past summer. I also lost the door that I could shut when I would focus on my story. This stuck me with a problem. Being so sensitive to sound, the dog’s snoring, the kids’ mumbling or whispers, even coughs and sneezes constantly interrupted my work.

I’ll never forget writing a very poignant moment in one of my stories. I had my head back against the chair and my eyes closed as I visualized my poor hero’s plight. Tears streamed down my face. And my daughter danced into the room singing that “Call Me Maybe” song. Yeah, took me a solid 24 hours to get back into the groove after that hideous interlude.

A few months ago, my oldest daughter taught me the beauty of creating playlists in YouTube. Free, and songs of my choosing, I set up a playlist of soundtracks from movies like The Avengers and Batman using the music when I write intense scenes. It’s weird, but music has always affected me emotionally. Playing that driven music stirs up just the right amount of stress to create the tension I need for action-focused sections.

However, having to concentrate on slower scenes full of thoughts and feelings, or setting a light tone or physical description is a lot harder with that kind of music. So I invested in a package of purple earplugs. Helpful when one of the twins is humming a song that wants to get stuck in my brain, or my oldest girl is practicing her Spanish. (Also good for NASCAR races – just saying!) They don’t shut out all sound, but they make it soft enough that I can filter out the rest.

If the girls’ music or history lessons (computer program) gets too loud, I have a rainstorm app on my Ipad. I also found a great free online program that I use called Ambient Mixer on my laptop. I’ve set up a thunderstorm, complete with rumbles and crackles, but with the continuous sound of soft rain on a tarp and the white noise of a distant waterfall. LOVE THIS PROGRAM!

Your turn: I hope this series has given you some ideas. And I’d love to hear about them. What do you do to stay in your story in the midst of your home-school day?


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