Tornado Alley: A Tale of Mom Writers

The people living in Tornado Alley always impress me. How they can day after day of hot, muggy summer go about their everyday business without even a glance at the skyline, is nothing short of brave.

Myself, I would be cowering in my root cellar if I lived there and buying up all the jugs of distilled water every April. After watching the aftermath in a few different Hollywood movies, I’ve determined never to take on storm chasing as my day job.

Okay, so I live in Minnesota where it gets to fifty below windchill in the winter and summer is squeezed between Flag Day and Labor Day Weekend. I guess some would say I’m brave, too. The rest of you all just think I’m crazy.

What about that rare group of writers that survive a tornado alley of toddlers, soccer games and meatloaf? Is there hope for them?

I’d like to think so. I’m one of those moms who paints with my preschooler by day, listens to kids read by afternoon and hits the baseball games by evening. It is often after my kids are tucked into bed that I find the time to write.

Armed with a can of Mountain Dew, my favorite chocolate and a ferocious passion for writing I brave the late hours to put words on a page.

Over the past few years as a writing mother of four, I’ve learned a few things about survival. First of all, NEVER try to write while potty training…just saying. As for the rest, you learn as you go.

Tips For Surviving The Tornadic Writing Journey:

*Miracles are for God to do, not you. If you are anything like me, you are constantly trying to improve to be Super Mom, Loving Wife, Brilliant Mother and on your really neurotic days, thinking there is any shot of being another Martha Stewart homemaker.

Time for a dose of truth serum. God is the ONLY one who works miracles!

*Lists Are Your Friends. The only way to keep straight all of the details of being mom and writer is to create ‘to do’ lists for the week, month, year and decade.

Work the list crossing off one item at a time. If you put your highest priorities at the top and work your way down, at least the most important things will be accomplished.

*Focus On One Snapshot In Time. It is easy to spend your time worrying about what it is you need to accomplish later in the day. Learn to focus on what you need to do now, just one item on the list and you will get things done much faster.

*Enlist Help From Hubbies & Grandparents. It is okay to carve out some time for yourself to write every now and then uninterrupted.

If you were able to get help to cover two work day hours a month, just think how much writing you could get done. Eight hours in one day is far more productive than two hours in four days.

*Remember That The Years With Our Children Home We Can Never Get Back. The treasure of time spent with our kids is something that we can’t miss out on. They don’t need us every second of the day, but they do need us to give hugs, encouragement and play games.

*Pack Kleenex. The Tornadic Journey of the Mom Writer is full of potholes. There are going to be tough days, but there will be great days, too. Allow yourself to take a deep breath now and again.

What are some things you or your friends have tried to survive the Tornadic Journey of the Mom Writer?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

7 thoughts on “Tornado Alley: A Tale of Mom Writers

  1. M. Saint-Germain says:

    Michelle–You crack me up. I laughed out loud in my living room and my dogs looked up at me wondering why. (It was at the writing and potty training part.) What you accomplish in a day makes me tired. How do you have the stamina to write at night? You’re amazing. Great post. Super advice!

  2. Tornado Alley. Good description of life as a writer. lol. Even if you don’t have kiddos, life often gets in the way of writing. Love your “to do” lists. I make them during really hectic times, but thinking I need to make them all the time…so I’ll stay on track.

  3. jeannemt says:

    Lists truly ARE my friends. 🙂 Not that I complete everything on them each day, but they give me good guidelines of what is important. I am working to set aside daily time to write. Unlike you, my time is EARLY in the morning. It works for me. Talking with others also helps me in writing’s Tornado Alley.

  4. Alena T. says:

    Love “Tornado Alley” what a great word picture of what often feels like as we juggle responsibilities between our passion of writing, jobs and family! Lists are my very best friend. Here lately I’ve been using my smart phone more and more, cuz those lists sometimes fall the Suburban floor board as my kids wrestle to control the music and front seat in our car. LOL!

  5. Michelle Lim says:

    HEHE! I can so relate…I love the smart phone!

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