Friday Speak Out!: On the One Knee

Friday, December 09, 2016
by C.K. Austin

Too often we hear “On the one hand,” but what I’ve struggled with has been my knees and the toddler that demands to sit on one while I’m writing. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. You’re focused on your work, steadily typing away when you feel a slight tugging on your pant. You think, I’ll ignore it and he’ll go play with his toys. But the more you ignore that tug, the more forceful it becomes until there is a tyrannical, temper-tantrum producing toddler that finally manages to completely pull you away from your writing.

A lot of parents don’t have the daily struggle that writers do. We’re constantly being distracted by Susie putting a necklace on the dog or Johnny peeing in the potted tree. Our toddlers take pride in their antics as thousands of YouTube videos have shown.

Some of you may have your own methods on how to balance work and parenting, but for those of you that don’t, here’s what worked for me.


I’m a night owl and stay up late at night, long after my daughter’s 8:30 pm bedtime. That may work for you, as most writers I know love the quiet and peace. But for you early risers, the same concept applies. Get up early before your little one and get to work.

Leave the house!

Leave the kids with your mother, father, spouse, significant other, life partner, or neighbor. Get out! Find your spot, whether it is a clichéd coffee shop, a bookstore, library, or neighborhood park.

Play and Distract

My daughter is a die-hard Bubble Guppies lover. She can’t get enough of those cute little fish children and I use that to my advantage. Play with your kids, tire them out, and then distract them with their favorite toy, game, or educational program.

On the one knee

Sometimes you can’t get out of the house. The neighbors are out on a date or having a family game night. Your mom’s not answering her phone after the latest flour destroying kitchen fiasco. Pick up that little pant-tugger and get to work. When they tire of the view from your lap, they’ll want down to grab their favorite noisy toys.

Schedule, schedule, schedule!

Those pant-yankers and rolling on the floor temper-tantrum tyrants often want something: food, diaper change, butt-wipe, juice drink, or attention and love. Give it to them! Make sure you schedule your day accordingly. After breakfast, play before that next blog post. After a nap, snuggle before that next chapter. Get down on the floor of the bathroom and play with those bath toys after dinner. When they’re tire of playing with you, they’ll find that book they hid under the couch or the toy piano you hid behind the bookshelf. Pencil in that time on your calendar so you’re not struggling for time and your child still knows you care.

I hope you can take my experiences and find what works for you. Happy writing!

C.K. Austin is the author of Shifting Sky, available on Amazon ( and internationally sold. She served as a cryptolinguist for the US Navy. She is a mom of two wonderful children who have been known to steal her manuscripts on occasion. She is currently at work on another novel titled, Into the Darkness, and hopes to release it in late 2016 - early 2017. To learn more about her Shifting Sky series or to connect with her, you can catch up with her on Facebook (, Goodreads, or Amazon.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

C.K.--Your line about your mom not answering the phone made me chuckle. Good luck with your soon-to-be-released book. From the sounds of it, you don't have too many problems getting your writing in...

C.K. Austin said...

@Sioux Thank you! I'm still not sure when my mom decided to draw the line: the flour all over her floor or the plants pulled out of the pots.

Margo Dill said...

These are great tips. Where there is a will there is a way! That's what I always say.

Anonymous said...

@Margo Dill Thanks! I completely agree with your will-way motto. I often find myself saying it as well.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top