How do I do that while working full time, keeping up with my three kids who are typically involved in at least four sports at a time, making all our meals from scratch (because of my son's gluten allergy and cross-contamination issues), getting my two type 1 diabetic children to their monthly doctor's appointments an hour away, and finding time to write three books a year? Well, to put it simply, I'm a realist.
Life is crazy. Crazy busy. Crazy hectic. Crazy fun. And crazy stressful. But my writing career (on top of teaching full time) relaxes me. Having deadlines from my editor and publisher are actually a blessing in disguise. They are my excuse to find some ME time and get my work done. If I didn't have them, I wouldn't ever get to escape to my room for a few hours while Hubby cleans up dinner. It's my excuse to get out of practices (I don't miss games for writing, though) and sometimes even laundry.
There are obvious obligations and deadlines I can't control, which requires planning and organization. Two things I am good at and actually enjoy doing. With my busy life, if I didn't plan I'd never know if I was coming or going. Two of my three children have diseases which require me--and someday them--to be on top of things twenty-four seven. I can't say I'm successful there. Thankfully my children's school nurses are amazing, and the kids are learning to be a bit more independent.
Since being published three years ago, I've learned so much from my amazing editors and publishing houses, which has also helped me become more prolific in my writing.
I write one book in the summer (today is my last day of school, so tomorrow I'll write Chapter 1 in my fifteenth novel), one during NaNo, finishing it during Christmas break, and I write another between January and the end of the school year. I typed THE END last night, making this year three in reaching my goal.
I know writers who make a goal to write five books a year. Others set out to write one. It's not a race or competition against each other. It's a challenge you need to make for yourself. Whether it be writing, reading, eating healthy, exercising, sleeping more, or even a work-related goal, start small. Make a goal you know you can reach. It's empowering when you reach it. Once you've met a handful of smaller goals, you can start making those big goals, the ones that may take a few years to reach.
I'm no expert, but this strategy and way of thinking has worked well for me. I'm no superwoman; there are millions of moms out there managing a whole heck of a lot more than I am and making it look effortless, but I often hear, "How do you do it all?".
Set some goals. Don't reach for the stars. Reach for your passion. Once you've reached it, the stars will be dangling right in front of you.