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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blogging For Smarties

Blogging For Smarties is not the opposite of Blogging For Dummies, a book which tells us how to do what we already do here at WritingUp.If you want advice on smart blogging, try Performancing.com, Problogger.com or read Seven Essential Blogging Habits. This is about a conversation with my three year old which made me think about the life of a WAHM.

Like many people, I used to go out to work. For my daughter, work was something that you did when you were out and when you were home you were off duty. But last year, when I went freelance, that started to change.

Of course, the change didn't happen overnight. Freelance writing success rarely comes quickly. But with all the writing I've been doing in the last couple of months, something major has changed. I'm never off-duty, though I force myself to spend family time (that IS why I'm a WAHM, after all). All you writers will know, though, that when a deadline looms, everything gets shoved aside so you can deliver on time. And that somtimes means children, too.

Like most three year olds, my daughter is the centre of her universe, and she doesn't like my work stealing the limelight. She knows I'm a writer (thanks to five unpublished children's stories which I've tested on her and her friends with great success) but she doesn't always understand that it means I have to sit at the computer. But she IS beginning to understand about money, so I came up with a way to explain my blogging and writing habit to her. The conversation went like this:

Me: You know that Mummy's a writer, don't you?
T: Yes (smiling)
M: Writing has to be done at the computer, because that's where people write. Do you understand?
T: Yes
M: Do you remember Daddy explained to you about earning money to buy treats?
T: Yes (warily)
M: Well, that's why Mummy has to write. So she can earn money to buy food and treats like Smarties (Smarties are small chocolate sweets wtih a bright coating, like M&Ms but smaller). They are her favourite treat at the moment.

So that's where the notion of writing for Smarties came in. And since I also earn money from blogging, I must be blogging for Smarties too.

Funnily enough, I think my daughter understood what I was getting at. And it gives me a handy way to explain why I'm sitting at the computer sometimes when I would rather be playing with her.

What about all you other WAHMs? How do you explain your work to young children - or older children? I might need to come up with something new in a couple of years.

PS. If you haven't already read it, check out Mitch's post on backing up - it's great advice for any writer. I wish I'd read this before my laptop died.

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