Being a Productive Mom Writer

Being a mom and having a job and being a writer (and having an Etsy storefront) is pretty…busy.

But there are certain things I do to help maintain my sanity, and to also increase my productivity.

I clean the house when it’s absolutely necessary (my daughter asks me “Is company coming over?” whenever she sees me dust). I once read that when JK Rowling was once asked how she was able to produce such huge tomes in a relatively small amount of time, she said “I didn’t clean the house for seven years.” You are my soulbeast, JK.

I alternate what I’m doing. I’ll revise five pages. Then I’ll clean up a piece of art in Illustrator. Then I’ll do another five. Then I’ll color that piece in Photoshop. Wash, rinse, and complete. (Such as the illustration I put in this blog’s visual.)

I work on my story when I wake up. No, I don’t lie there and daydream about it. I have my computer open and I’m writing new words or revising old ones. When I do this, 100% of the time I go back to writing/revising later in the day and hit my goals.

And that’s the thing—I made peace with the fact that I cannot carve out time during the day to write. That’s when I’m busy and tired with child-rearing and errands. So I have to wait until everyone’s in bed (around 8 p.m.).

I don’t watch TV. I used to, and I had a whole bunch of series I just had to watch. But then I realized I was binge-watching 13 hours of TV to watch other writers’ work, writers who stopped watching TV to do their work. I do, however, have either Gilmore Girls or The Office on constant replay on my iPad as I work. They’re excellent white noise.

Here’s the real fact: I go to bed super late in order to write. I wake up at 6:30 (when the children start screaming over who is looking at whom), and I go to bed at 2:00. On a good night, it’s 12:30. On a super-pumped night, 3:30 a.m.

And here’s a little secret: During the day, when the toddler is napping and my third grader is still at school, I take a nap.




Sydney Strand is a fiction writer who has published two young adult books through New York and another six books via self-publishing. Over the last two years, she has focused on writing fun romances, but not of the Red Room of Pain variety. More like the Dan and Roseanne/Sam and Diane variety–humor is sexy, dontcha know. You can follow Sydney on Instagram (1st Favorite), Twitter (2nd Favorite), and Facebook (Not a Favorite). She’s also at (Her favoritest of favorites.)

One thought on “Being a Productive Mom Writer

  1. You are my soulbeast, Sydney. Thanks for sharing this.
    I do miss the days when my kids take naps — my youngest stopped taking naps when he was one and a half. ONE AND A HALF. But they are 5 and 9 now, and sometimes they let me nap for 20 minutes. Sometimes 5.


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