Friday, September 23, 2011

How to Balance Motherhood and Writing by Penny Zeller

We may dream of living in a cabin in the mountains, a cottage on the beach, or a penthouse apartment in New York with no responsibilities except to write. But that’s what it is—a dream. We all fight to balance our time while trying to take care of our families, day jobs, and volunteer responsibilities. This Fortifying Friday, author Penny Zeller is here to encourage and offer tips to moms who also happen to be writers! Enjoy! 
~ Dawn

How to Balance Motherhood and Writing
By Penny Zeller

When I decided to write a post about balancing writing life with family life, I had to give that topic some heavy-duty thought. After all, I’m still working on figuring out how to prioritize and fit in all the duties of being a wife, mom, and author, especially since there is no such thing as a typical day. J

So, how do you balance the demands of motherhood with the demands of writing? I’ve narrowed it down to five steps that I have found helpful –

1. Pray. Each morning before I climb out of bed and face a day of mothering, chauffeuring kids to after-school events, housecleaning, volunteering, and writing books, I ask the Lord to prepare my heart. I ask that He guide my day, that I would use my time wisely, and that I would get accomplished only what He would have me do that day.

2. Get your priorities straight. Children grow up so fast and I don’t want to regret the time I spent on things that weren’t important. What is really important are those eternal differences we make in the lives of others, particularly our family members. My husband and my children are my main ministry, and I have to remember who comes first (after the Lord) in this life of busyness. But then, how do I make time for my career?

3. Be deliberate. I have to be deliberate about putting aside time for my writing. I work while my children are in school and then quit for the day when they come home.

4. Don’t get sidetracked. So many things to do on the computer and so little time! Emailing, Facebooking, tweeting, blogging, Linking in—who has time for it all? And I can get sidetracked at the drop of a hat! I have to keep my focus or I’ll look back on the day and realize nothing of consequence was accomplished. I have found that making a list of things I need to do for the day in order of importance is helpful.

5. Make a poster. I taped a homemade “office hours” paper to my office door and try hard to adhere to those writing hours when my children are in school. I have posted these writing hours, not so much for visitors, but for myself. It reminds me that if I don’t set aside time for my writing, it will be spent doing a host of other “unnecessary” things (see point #4).

So, there you have it. And now, I must tend to those dirty dishes in the sink. Ah, balancing writing life and chores. Now that’s a topic for another time!

Penny Zeller is the author of several books and numerous magazine articles in national and regional publications. She is also the author of the humor blog "A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author" ( She is an active volunteer in her community, serving as a women's Bible study small-group leader and co-organizing a women's prayer group. Penny devotes her time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. Her passion is to use the gift of the written word that God has given her to glorify Him and to benefit His kingdom. Hailee is the final book in the series, which began with McKenzie and Kaydie in Montana Skies, her first series with Whitaker House. When she's not writing, Penny enjoys spending time with her family and camping, hiking, canoeing, and playing volleyball. She and her husband reside in Wyoming with their two children. Penny loves to hear from her readers at her website, and on Facebook at

Where readers can find me on the web:

Book Trailer for Hailee:

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