So, last night I tried an experiment. My husband graciously gave me the night off from family time and mommy duties, and me and my Laptop pulled a J.K. Rowling -- we headed over to the nearest Starbucks, where I, with my coffee and sandwich, parked myself for a couple of hours of writing.
Guess what? Away from the clutter of kids toys and the distractions of internet and home, I was able to get focused and I actually got some writing accomplished. I still went round in circles, and it took me the first full hour to push past the resistance (why am I bothering, this sucks, etc) and get in the zone, but overall, I was relaxed, focused, and interested again. I was able to experiment with the opening of my MG story, switching voice and tense and POV, no one interrupted me when I needed to stare off into space and visualize what happened next, and I enjoyed myself.
Lesson learned? I can get back to that happy writing place that I haven't felt for 20 years. The writing inside me isn't dead, it's just all jumbled up by art projects, Mommy duties, and life.
I don't know if this makes me a wimp or not, but I guess I do need serious alone time to get work done. I'm going to try to get at least one night a week at the coffee house. I think the 'me' time is good for more than just the writing. And I'm going to see how I can get more of it daily. Do I go to bed at 9 pm so I can wake up at 4 or 5? If I managed it (it's against my night owl proclivities), I'd never see my husband. Do I continue as I am, but try to get a nap in so I stay up until 3 and only get 4 hours of sleep and then be a grumpy bear to my husband and son? Or should I just stop pressuring myself, write when I can, and if it takes five years until I can get my manuscript(s) finished, learn to be okay with that?
Maybe a combination of all of the above. But I'm not going to sweat it anymore. If I can't be truly productive until my son heads off to school in a year or to, so be it.
Read about the Elephant Coffee House, where Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book.