Even if they aren’t screaming, young children tend to make writing a little difficult. If you have an infant, you’ve likely been writing one-handed. If your sweet baby is now a toddler, your computer keyboard will be occupied by their little fingers faster than your cat, and peeling them off will result in tantrums of the third degree. Thinking of trying a little VTech or LeapFrog computer to make everything seem fair? Ha! It’s still not the one you are using and is therefore insubstantial. Now, if your little sweetheart made it past this stage, you will still have to face those sad puppy eyes and the pouty lips because the dolls or train tracks are not first on your priority list. So, for those moments when a poem thrusts itself between your ears or your villain/hero just leaped into action, here are a few solutions to saving your words without having to turn on your computer.
1. Keep a few index cards in your pocket. Jotting down a quick poem or a few notes can be accomplished anywhere from the floor to the sandbox.
2. Slap a magnetic dry erase board to the refrigerator. You can write your ideas down on the fly and they will be right where you left them after the kids are asleep.
3. If your hands are never free to jot anything anywhere, try a digital recorder. This, of course, will only work while the kids are happy, but it is a trusty back-up.
4. Do you have a smart phone? Download a word processing app. Google docs works great for me, but there are a number of others that might suit your writing needs better. It’s a great way to save your work if all you have is one free hand and a phone.
5. If nothing else works, give your kid a bath and break out the bath crayons or write your poem on the mirror with lipstick while potty training. If you write where your little one can’t reach, you score a good chance at saving your ideas.
These five simple techniques can help save your writing goals from the “later” file and keep you sane when the munchkins turn mad. Kids grow to admire parents who try hard at whatever they do. So, you can tell them you’re doing it to inspire greatness. You should not give up writing just because you become a parent, and you don’t have to send your precious babies off to daycare to save your inspiration. You just need to turn your creative energies to full power, because like the parent engine you are, you could use every Joule.