The A to Z of a writing mum – Catherine Miller
By Catherine Miller
You’ll have to forgive me, I’ve been in a foggy haze for some while now and people keep asking me, “How have you managed it?” They want to know how I’ve juggled being a mum to twins and writing a book. Often, I’m too confused to give a comprehensive answer. I’ve become the epitome of a scatty mum. So I’m combining the brilliant interviews with Fionnuala Kearney and Cate Woods to present the honest truth on how I finally got a book deal.♥
AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES – This is the best place to be. It’s a mental state gifted to you on the birth of twins knowing that getting through the day with everyone intact means you are winning at life!
BELIEVE – In yourself. You can do anything. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in myself before children, but there’s something about synchronising nappy changes with poorly, clingy twins that puts it all in perspective.
CALPOL – It is a saviour in my parenting life for days with unwell babies.
DANCE – Whenever you have the chance. Life is too short not to.
EVOLVE – Find out what works for you. The majority of Waiting for You was written by hand when the babies took extraordinary lengths of time eating their food. Then I would type it up in the evening at the point when my brain no longer functioned.
FOCUS – Never have I procrastinated less than in the past few years. There is nothing like only ever having small windows of time to focus the Things To Do list.
GLAMOUR – My face no longer knows what make-up is. Enough said.
HOUSEWORK – What’s this strange activity you talk of?
INTERRUPTIONS – ALL THE TIME! But I’m no longer precious about getting into the zone. If they are both sleeping, the zone is ON!
JUBILATION – So for all the tough times, there’s that moment I got to take my two-year-old twins to the ice cream parlour to eat scoops bigger than their bellies because I’d signed a two-book deal. Persistence is worth it in the end.
KATIE FFORDE – Having others believe in you is a truly awesome thing and winning the Katie Fforde bursary in 2015 made me push through to The End. I was even scribbling on the day I picked the trophy up and dropped it. (Epitome of a scatty mum – I wasn’t lying.)
LOOK AFTER NUMBER ONE – Don’t go to the point of burn out.
MATES – Establish who the helpful people around you are and solidify those friendships.
NAPPIES – There is nothing like a nappy change to keep you grounded. So very grounded.
ORANGES – Sorry, for a minute I thought it was my shopping list. Did I mention I get distracted easily?
PODEE BOTTLES – If I needed to pick one thing that has helped me become a writer, this is it. Podee bottles are a hands-free feeding system and were invented for multiples.
QUIET TIME – This one’s a joke. I just like to pretend I’ve had some.
ROMANTIC NOVELISTS’ ASSOCIATION – The New Writers’ Scheme has supplied friends and sanity.
UNNECCESARY – Not just the housework. FB, Twitter or any other timesuck. Create a dimension where you don’t have time for it. Remove it from reach if necessary.
VOICE – Find yours. Whatever passion it is, follow it with all your heart.
WAITING – As a writer you wait for lots of things along the way. Anyone wanting to be distracted from this problem is welcome to babysit anytime!
XYLOPHONES – Or any activity that will tire the children out to the point of needing to nap. Preferably at the same time.
YUMMY THINGS TO EAT – Okay, I might be struggling at this point, but I have eaten a whole lot of food to see me though this period of time. And not once was it green leaves spun around in a nutri-thingy.
ZZZZZZZZS – If you tell me to nap while the twins nap, I will slap you.
When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with Carina UK. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, is out now.