Today The Pink Heart Society is happy to welcome Harlequin Romantic Suspense author Melissa Cutler, who'll give us the scoop on being a Write at Home Mom.
I’ve read lots of awesome advice from writer-moms on how to perfect the juggling act, so for my blog post, I thought I’d go to the source. I interviewed three kids about advice they have both for writer moms and kids of writer moms.
The kiddos: my 8 year old son (a.k.a., Turbo), my 10 year old daughter (otherwise known as Mini-Me), and my daughter’s BFF. Here’s what they have to say:
What’s your favorite thing about having a mom who’s a writer?
Turbo: Daddy gets to watch me
Mini-Me: I get to tell my friends that my mom is a published writer, which is cool.
BFF: I wish my mom was a writer. That’d be so cool.
How can kids help out when their moms are on deadline?
Turbo: [shrug; wanders off to play Legos]
Mini-Me: Not bother her every time a thought pops into my head (good girl)
BFF: Help do the dishes after dinner (I approve of this friend.)
What kind of hot meal do you like your mom to prepare when she’s on deadline?
Turbo: [hollers across the room] Pizza
Mini-Me: El Pollo Loco
BFF: I love El Pollo Loco!
What’s the worse part about having a mom who’s a writer?
Turbo: [holds up a minifig] Look at my cool Lego battle guy.
Mini-Me: You don’t get to spend a lot of time with me. (Cue the mom guilt)
BFF: Yeah, that would suck.
Don’t you like going to summer camps and spending time with Grandma and Daddy while I work?
Turbo: My battle guy just blew up a Destroyer!
Mini-Me: They’re okay. I’d rather be here with you. (Ugh)
BFF: No, you don’t. You love camp.
What kind of book should I write next?
[Their eyes all lit up and they broke out in huge grins. Turbo rushes over and BFF hops up and down on her tiptoes]
BFF: A Goosebumps book. I love those things. Here’s what you should write: there was a mom and this girl. And the mom became a widow so they had to move out of her house and they had to move into a cheap, creaky hotel. In the room next to her there was a werewolf, but she didn’t know it but she kept hearing these weird sounds at night. Then her daughter went into the room next door and found out he was a werewolf. The story ends with the mom getting married and buying a house. And no more monsters invaded it. You should totally write that, Miss Melissa.
Turbo: You could write a Ninjago Lego book! Oh, wait, I know! A castle battle book. There’s a castle and there’s a king and queen who have armies that fight bad armies and they use cars. The bad guys attack and the good guys win. That’s what you should write next.
Mini-Me: There are these two kids who are running away from their home and they run through this strange forest and come upon a castle and they have to get into the castle and try to fit in, but when cops come looking for them they try to blend in and fit in with all the other kids in a magic school. Will you write that for me, mommy?
And therein lies the tug-of-war in my heart. Dividing my attention from my kids is rough, but there are so many cool and exciting stories to tell. Stories that make people’s eyes light up and their imaginations spark. There are creaky old hotels, kings and queens fighting bad armies, and kids who escape the real world to attend magic school. So many stories, yet so little of the one commodity every working parent struggles against—precious, fleeting time.
So I walk that line of balance, creating illusions of people and worlds out of words like a magician might, while still striving to get the evening’s hot meal on the table and keeping my eyes away from the computer monitor long enough to catch my kids’ unguarded moments of wonder and sweetness.
There’s a lot of guilt, a lot of time spent making peace with being ‘good enough’, but I hope my kids see the example I’m trying to set. What I’m trying to show them is that this is how you achieve your dreams, whatever they might be: dogged optimism in the face of adversity, never giving up, working harder than you ever thought sustainable…and embracing the truth that you’re worth it. You’re worth this huge, pie-in-the-sky dream of greatness. The sacrifices you make are worth it. The long nights and early mornings, the gray hairs, and the occasional guilt are all worth it. Dream big, lay it all on the line, and go for it. Just make sure your kids are watching.
Audible Audio Books: http://bit.ly/15ovD8p
Bio: Melissa Cutler is a flip-flop wearing Southern California native living with her family in beautiful
She divides her time between her dual passions for writing sexy, small town
contemporaries and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense for Harlequin, Berkley,
and Kensington Books. She loves hearing from readers and is easy to find at www.melissacutler.net, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MelissaCutlerBooks
), and Twitter (@m_cutler). And you can always email her at
firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for her newsletter (http://www.melissacutler.net/newsletter/)
to find out about her latest books and upcoming events. San Diego