The week before my baby’s due date, after I had finally wrapped up my work obligations, cleaned the soon-to-be nursery, and inflated my birth ball, I sat down and spent several hours attending to my other “baby,” my first novel. Though I was already experiencing what I now realize were early labor pains, I was determined to complete a hefty round of revisions before the baby was born. If this baby is two weeks late, I thought to myself, and I somehow write polished prose really really fast, then I might, possibly finish this draft…or at least half of this draft?

My first contraction interrupted my thoughts.

I love my little girl and wouldn’t give up being a mother for anything, not even a best-seller. Fortunately, I’ve discovered that having a baby doesn’t mean the end of my writing dreams. Though I had to stretch out my timeline, I managed to complete a fairly final draft of my novel during my baby’s first year.

What advice would I give other aspiring parent-novelists? The one sentence summary would be this: Your novel must be the “next thing” on your list.

A parent’s first three priorities are pretty much set: Continue reading