Starting A Family: What It Really Meant For One Author’s Career

Today’s post by this month’s featured author, Chevy Stevens | @ChevyStevens

Chevy Stevens. Photo Credit Poppy Photography

Chevy Stevens. Photo Credit Poppy Photography

When my husband and I first started talking about creating a family, I worried about how I would balance it all with my writing. I feared that I would lose months of time and wouldn’t be able to complete my deadline. I was right that I did lose some time in first three months I was pregnant, which was when I was trying to finish Always Watching. I was constantly nauseous and exhausted—I had to take more than a few naps on my office floor! But then I made it out of the first trimester and gained an amazing amount of energy. I loved being pregnant, the clarity of thought, the focus, the energy to get so many things done in a day. Knowing that I was going to have to take some time off when she was born, spurred me on and I didn’t waste any time. I got up early and wrote whenever possible. Some women get a nesting instinct toward the end of their pregnancy, but I had it all away along except mine wasn’t just focused on getting ready for the baby, I was also trying to finish my first draft before her due date.

Finally I was one week away from finishing my book—and one week from my due date. I was hoping the baby would hold out for a few days, but she had her own plans! I went into labor one night in the middle of December 2012—on my exact due date. My daughter, Piper, was born the next day. I didn’t start writing again until late January, balancing nursing and learning how to be a new mom, with a lot of sleepless nights! Thankfully my husband was on paternity leave or I would never have been able to find time to write. We then made the decision for my husband to stay off from work until Piper goes to school. I feel very blessed to be able to continue with my career, while having my daughter at home.

I used to think I couldn’t work with the noise of a child around me, but it turns out I loved working upstairs, hearing Piper downstairs with her daddy. However as she got older and started walking, and then climbing the stairs, it became too hard on her to see me going up and down, hearing me move around upstairs. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t be with me. Now I work out in our travel trailer. I miss them, but it allows me to focus on my writing, and then when I’m with her, I can focus on her. I had been worried that having a family would cost me, but instead it has given me everything. We have so much joy in our lives now, so much happiness, and I know that all of that has helped my writing.

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

2 Responses to Starting A Family: What It Really Meant For One Author’s Career

  1. martha louise hunter July 16, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    really great post! I enjoyed it a lot! MLH

  2. Kristy Woodson Harvey July 17, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Babies (and pregnancies!) change everything, don’t they? I wrote query letters in the middle of the night between feedings! Good for you for working out motherhood and your writing schedule!

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