July 4, 2012

Spending Time with Family ~ An Author's Time

We all know how important family time is--sharing our lives with the ones we love, especially when we have children at home. With three daughters, family time is precious to my husband and I. But as a writer, I sometimes wish for more "me time" or "writing time." The big question becomes, how can we split our time usefully, without feeling as though we are neglecting one or the other. 

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 Here are a few ways I try to implement family time into our lives:
  • Save evenings for family. Do your writing in the morning, afternoon, or even in the wee hours in order to spend quality time with those you love. Watch a movie together, play board games, go on a walk, ride bikes, or go for a horse ride. These are all wonderful ways to spend time with your family, and at the same time, refresh your mind and body for that next writing session.
  • Make and eat meals with the family. I've tried to let my daughters make meals while I write, but most often, I end up in the kitchen answering questions or helping. I finally learned it was easier to spend this time together, and while things are cooking, I check e-mail or update social statuses. (That's why a lot of my Facebook posts are food related!) Hint: Don't forget the importance of doing dishes together! LOL
  • Turn a research trip or promotional event into a family outing. I always encourage family members to join me for a research trip or promotional event. My readers enjoy meeting my family, and my family and I get to spend time together visiting and seeing the country--we especially enjoy our trips to the Kansas Flint Hills.018
My husband pretending to be a film-director on one day-trip to the Flint Hills.
  • Do you have a hard time fitting reading into your schedule? How about setting aside one or two nights a week to read. Invite everyone in the family to grab their favorite book and join you in the living room. You could even read one book together out loud. Always remember, too, the importance of reading the Bible together on a daily routine. Our family tries to do this after our evening meal.
  • Do chores together. Our girls have been doing chores on their own since they were little. But sometimes it's fun to help them. Not only does it surprise them, it often provides a chance to share deep thoughts of wisdom. Pull weeds in the garden or flower beds, or help them feed the animals. Clean house together or take out the garbage. 
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  • Take advantage of musical abilities. I took piano lessons for ten years and then gave lessons for another ten, teaching each of my girls and many other students. My two younger daughters have since learned to play guitar, and I encourage them to play for us often. Music is poetry for the soul. If your family is musical, play and sing songs together. It'll be a memory you'll hold dear for the rest of your life. 
  • Lastly, if your family budget allows it, try to plan a family vacation to travel somewhere in the United States or beyond. Our country is filled with so much history, and there are 58 National Parks for you to enjoy. Last summer, my family traveled to Silverton, Colorado where we camped in the mountains for an entire week. It was a wonderful time together. 
How do you incorporate family time into your life? Do you have a special summer vacation planned? Share with us here in the comments below. Enjoy the moments and have a great 4th of July! 
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