One might wonder.
1. I do not give anyone my phone number. I have conducted one 45 minute telephone interview for a feature story about a way cool prescription eye glasses ministry. That guy has my phone number. Otherwise, it is all e-mail, all the time. If an editor or source did call me, I would not answer the phone. Dude, I'm at work. I would e-mail him later and write: "Hay, I heard you tried to reach me, what can I do for you?" These are not breaking news stories I am contributing. Conversations about my writing can wait a few hours or even days until I can get around to an e-mail.
I take homeschooling and homemaking seriously as my calling from God and I consider that my Jay Oh Bee (job). I'm not going to be shushing my children left and right so that I can have professional phone conversations, or make everyone late for their lessons because I was on the phone.
Sometimes this creates amusing scenarios. One of my editors is from Arizona and I e-mailed her a link when a newspaper published something I’d written about speaking with a Southern accent. I poke fun at Minnesota a little bit in this column. My editor from Arizona e-mailed me back and said, “Oh that column is so nice. I’m originally from Minnesota.”
I had no idea. I’ve never heard her speak. I am all e-mail.
2. Everything I do is from my home. Now when I had a little time over the summer, I did go take a look around the facility of one of the magazines I write for (way cool place by the way, they bring guys on drugs to Christ). But every time I write for a publication, I send off my writing electronically from my home. Any editing, or drama surrounding editing, is done at home. I can't do lunch, I can't do phone, there is only e-mail in my world. If we must do lunch or meetings or parties, then I cannot write for you.
My two year old is throwing a balloon up in the air to me right now and I'm smiling at her and bonking it back to her. I stopped writing to read her a doggie barking book after that. The writing works around my family. My family does not work around the writing.
3. I don’t watch TV or movies. Probably the time that I could be spending watching a show or movie is the time that I put into my writing. Besides my own ministry’s Facebook page, I do not do Facebook or online games or Pinterest. So my writing is what I do in my extra goof off time. Okay I have seen the movie Frozen 68 times with my daughters. It's our new Sound of Music. Frozen actually isn't bad for Disney by the way. We fast forward through a few intense, creepola parts, but that movie infuriates me only like three times, from a Biblical worldview. Not bad.
4. I have not accepted payment for my writing, since becoming a mother. I used to get paid for writing back in the day. Once I am getting paid, I’m no longer calling the shots. I could use a few extra bucks like anyone, but at this point my husband needs me to be completely focused on our family and not have my loyalty divided between our family and an employer. When you’re a volunteer, they just don’t quite own you the way they do when you’re on the payroll. I haven't signed any contracts, I haven't given my word that I will crank out two columns per month. I set my own deadlines, or I agree to realistic deadlines that won't stress me out.
5. I write way ahead of time. Child I got 23 blogs in the can right now. Just waiting to be unleashed upon the eager public. I write when life is normal. Then when something blows up, such as surgeries, military deployments, toddler escapades, teenager escapades, or general maternal weariness, I'm not writing at all. For example, I have three months' worth of time-released Bible commentary brilliance scheduled ahead of time to post on my Facebook page. It's as much of a surprise to me as it is to you what witty snippets of Biblical hilarity are going to appear on that page any given day.
6. I plagiarize myself. If I write an e-mail to, or have a conversation with, a friend or family member and I think, "hey this is kinda interesting and borderline entertaining," then I work it into a blog. I also rework my blogs to be published in magazines. I reduce them to fit a certain style or word count. Those Bible commentary one-liners I post on my Facebook page are actually recycled Twitters from six months ago. Nobody follows me on Twitter so hey, they're essentially brand new.
I tell you numbers 1 through 6 to inspire you that you can pursue something that God is tugging at your heart to pursue, and not have it come at the expense of homeschooling or your family in general. Family is our number one ministry after all. God told me to homeschool way before He ever said anything to me about wanting me to write. My husband and five children desperately need my love and attention. I don't think anyone out there desperately needs my writing.
Our spiritual enemy will keep each of us hopping all day long every day, even doing "good" things, that will distract us from our family. We have to be deliberate about fiercely guarding our highest calling which is: being the heart of our home. If I can't cook dinner because of my writing, then something is wrong.