How not to kill your family – and still be a writer


Image: Pixabay


Ah, what a joy and blessing family is.

What a comfort through dark times, to know that someone has your back, is standing in your corner, will be there through thick, thicker and impenetrable.

Okay, there are times when it’s hard…

It’s not easy to concentrate on writing your next blog post when an eleven-year-old insists on lobbing a balled-up pair of dirty socks at your head.

And then there are those rare occasions when you’re in full writing flow, the words are pouring out and for once they’re not all drivel. And you’re finally taking control of that scene that’s baffled you for weeks and the dialogue is coming smoothly and it’s clever and real and you finally feel like one day you could be a proper writer …

Then the door opens and there’s a boy and a bike and a muddy P. E kit to wash and arguments over computer time and chores and showers and homework and dinner to cook and forms to sign and bus money to find and lunches to pay for …

And the next time you come face to face with your computer screen, your brain is as slow and reluctant as a toddler eating broccoli and mushroom en croute with a rhubarb glaze.

Yeah, we love our families but sometimes …

It’s not easy to juggle family and your love of writing – but help is at hand. Why don’t you zip on over and read my last blog post for Mslexia on this very subject.

It’s subtitle is DO NOT CUT OFF THIS HEAD – merely charm it!

Sound advice when dealing with family members, I think you’ll agree.


Yes, that’s my last post for Mslexia and it’s been fantastic fun. Thanks to all at Mslexia – especially Robyn – for holding my hand through my first professional gig and for giving me the opportunity to share my nonsense with a new audience.

Thanks for all of you who viewed and commented on the posts and shored up my ego – you’ve all been terrifically kind.

Normal service will now be resumed.



18 thoughts on “How not to kill your family – and still be a writer

  1. I really enjoyed this series and hope Mslexia offer you more opportunities to write for them. I’m pretty lucky in that the OH supports my writing and never denies me time for it. I’m the one that feels guilty and puts off writing when he’s home because I feel I should spend time with him. As for the dogs? They do their best to distract me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂
      I’m as lucky as you are – I’m sitting here now, typing blog posts, with my other half (on a rare weekday off) watching a DVD, wearing headphones so he doesn’t disturb me! What a lovely man.
      I’d love to write for Mslexia again – the experience has been totallly pleasurable and I highly recommend it if you fancy a go. I did submit to their ‘monster’ themed edition, though that’s a long shot. Apart from that, I know they’ll consider ideas for their main mag – I just need to think of something to pitch!


      1. I submitted two for monster too! Never heard back so I assumed I didn’t impress them.
        I’m sure you’ll think of something… You are rarely without ideas. Happy to be a sounding board if you need it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Don’t give up hope yet about the monster thing – just checked my reply email from the 22nd Dec and they said it would take 8 weeks to get back to people. So we still have about three weeks left – if they reply when they expect to. And I’ve submitted fiction to them before and know they send a polite refusal if they don’t want it. Stick in there, honey!
        Yes, must turn my brain to pitching more ideas more often. So muzzy headed these days, though, it’s scary! 🙂


  2. It’s a great story Lynn, that you pitched this series…inspirational…I remember first reading it back in November I think, as I can place where we were in the UK. The distractions are rough. I’m having luck wedging in what I can when I can during the day, around my kids, though it’s a bit sad and odd too to be with them and not sometimes, to feel I have one foot in their world and one in another, and not exactly in either as much as I’d like to be. I’m still hitting it in the mornings myself, before anyone is up, and that is best of course. Bye for now, enjoy the day…some good sun here in the south. Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, a lovely sunny day here in Bristol too – before we have more wind and rain tomorrow! It’s hard enough not to be distracted when you’re family are co-operative, but if you have people in your life who are unsympathetic and resentful it must be nigh on impossible. Just realised that made it sound as if I was talking about your family – I wasn’t, of course, just thinking about certain people I’ve known in that situation.
      I know what you mean about the guilt – I feel it sometimes with my son. There are days I almost have to be surgically removed from the laptop …

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed this series, Lynn. Especially this last one, with the Stephen King intro, very clever and engaging. Congrats on your first gig!

    Oh, and yes, I can relate. I’ve got a wife, two kids, two dogs, a cat, and a job that requires me to commute an hour there and an hour back. Not entirely conducive to sitting down at the keyboard. But we make time where we can. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Walt – and thanks for reading the posts. Yes, time is a tricky one. When on earth do you get chance to write, with everything you have to fit into the day?


      1. After the girls go to bed (around 7:30 or so) and the dogs are walked, I can usually grab an hour or two, depending on how long I can keep my eyeballs open. It’s not uncommon for me to fall asleep in my chair. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Reminds me of when I was studying for my degree – I would often start at around half eight, nine and work on until gone midnight if I was close to a deadline. That was a few years ago – I think I would do more sleeping than studying now!
        I admire your commitment. Anyone would think you really loved writing, or were somehow compelled to do it because you’re good at it … 🙂


  4. Yep, the guilt. And the distraction. And the guilt. This is why I write in the middle of the night, then bumble through my morning, bleary-eyed and cranky. And then I feel guilty for snapping at the kids when they traipse across the kitchen wearing muddy boots right before we have to leave for school. Although…they probably deserve it at that point. But still, I should be more kind. As always, I love reading WHATEVER you write regardless of for whom you’re writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Casey for your very kind words. Yes, it’s a tricky struggle. I’d like to write all the time … And spend all the time my son’s at home with him too – and spend all that time reading … I need a couple of clones – the only way out of the predicament!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My son offered to create a robot (initially it was to do HIS chores) that would do all the drudge work so I can play with him and his sister (although I would be expected to give him more play time since he’s the one creating the robot…). 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved your Mslexia series! And it’s fair to say that seeing your name in the autumn issue was what encouraged me to finally get off my lazy behind and pitch my idea to them, so thanks for that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I’m so glad it spurred you on! You’re posts are great, Sonya. Now, I just have to think of something and somewhere to pitch to next!


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