‘I was definitely ‘Mummy’, but who else was I to be? Writing gave me the answer’ Claire Gaudry, writer & facilitator
First and foremost, Claire is ‘Mummy’ to her beloved Amy and William. And then… she is a writer facilitator.
Claire blogs on motherhood, writing, inspiration and the transformative power of love. She is the author of an upcoming short story collection A Rendez-Vous with Love and she is a Facilitator.
Her life has been a journey of transformation: From the PhD loner/achiever who emerged after growing up with an alcoholic single parent, to the conscious woman who created a love filled family life in her forties.
Her aim is to create joy and to inspire mums to invite the transformational power of love into their own life.
1) what is the biggest challenge you face in your writing life since having children? Is this different or the same as the writing challenge(s) you faced pre-motherhood?
Actually, having children has been the kick starter of my creative writing life.
Soon after my second child was born, I found myself empty and purposeless, my main life goal to create my family had been completed. I was definitely ‘Mummy’, but who else was I to be? Writing gave me the answer, the out, the me-time and the satisfaction of creating and completing projects even of the smallest kind.
2) when do you write? Do you have a specific, regular routine?
Initially, I wrote for 5 minutes every night, using writer’s prompts. Then the urge to write grew, I found renewed energy to write in the evening once the kids were in bed (by then my eldest was 3 and youngest 1). And somehow, I created time, an hour here or there, when the older child was at pre-school and the youngest with the child minder for the morning.
I still find difficult to establish a regular routine and there is always the odd week where no word leaves my mind for the paper. But I have a plan! My eldest starts school in September and my youngest will have 3 regular days at the child minder’s. I am aiming for 2 of these days to be fully dedicated to my short stories manuscript.
3) what is the single most useful or helpful thing you’ve found that has enabled you to write despite the challenges posed?/what would be your top tip for mothers who are struggling to maintain their creative life as well as be awesome mums?
For me it’s definitely taking showers with Daddy on little ones watch.
It gives me a moment to free my mind of responsibility even if it’s only for 10 minutes. The time is mine, and it so happens to be my best creative time. All I do is take a deep breath, plant in my mind the story/blog I want to work on and forget about it.
I step in the shower, and relax, and with the water hitting my hair, ideas tend to ‘download’.
I have a notebook on my chest of drawers in my room and I jot down or mind-map every idea that comes during the shower as soon as I step out of the en-suite. When I get into a sitting-down writing session, even if it is only for 10 minutes, I always start from the notebook and it invariably reconnects me with the original creative juice and energy. Then I let the words come and dance from my mind to my fingers on the keyboard.
My top tip is to write your symphony one note at a time.
One little step at a time. 5 minutes of writing, is 5 minutes of crafting, of playing, of being more than mum, for me those initial 5 minutes were huge, they have given me a voice.