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This is my first year doing NaNo as a mother. And it is hard.

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There are always non-writing demands on your time, but a child seems to be the most time-consuming. If you have five minutes in your day, rest assured that the child will take ten.

So how am I finding time to write? With many stolen moments.

While the baby plays for thirty seconds before he gets into mischief, while he sleeps in my arms for five minutes, and while I feed him at two and five a.m…. All those little moments, stolen from other responsibilities, to spend on writing.

True, that’s not where I get most of my words written. I do sit down at the computer during a 45 minute nap time or while my husband has the kid when he comes home. That’s when I can read over what I “scribbled” down with half a brain and correct the typos and mistakes. That’s where I can coherently string two sentences together.

But what being a mother and a writer has taught me, is that I must be deliberate about my writing.

I am not at the stage of my writing journey where I am making money. Eventually, I would love to have that happen. I want to write for a living; there is nothing else I would rather do. But right now, writing is my “hobby” for lack of a better word. I call it a hobby because I don’t earn income from it, and it’s something I both enjoy and do in my free time.

Yet it is ultimately not a hobby. I also like to study Latin and scrapbook, I like to bake bread and scones, I like to play the piano and garden. All of those things are hobbies. To me, they are hobbies because if I don’t do one or any of them throughout my day, I don’t feel unfulfilled. I don’t feel as if I wasted my day or regret not having spent time on them. No, I call those things hobbies because I can live without them. But writing, that’s something that, if I don’t write anything one day of my week, I regret it.

It’s this regret that assures me writing is my calling. (Besides being a wife and a mother, that is.) It’s the stolen moments which make me certain that writing is worth the stress, the lost sleep, the hours where I can’t focus but I feel the need to write. Because these stolen moments will pay me back when I can look back five years down the road. These moments were spent bettering my craft, honing my skills, and developing my creativity.

It’s a writer’s life. A writer’s curse.

Why do you write?