One of the toughest parts of writing as a mother is finding times and places to write without children dangling from one’s arm, stealing one’s pen, or banging one’s keyboard. Here are a few tried and true writing opportunities for you to consider:

1. On the toilet, where I wrote this entire post! (Not really.)
The toilet is a tried and true place to steal a few minutes to scribble one’s thoughts, unless you are unfortunate enough to have a can with no lock. At the very least, I carry my smart phone in with me so I can jot down ideas for stories or editing.

2. The treadmill at the gym.
This one is easier if you like to write sideways. I take a full sized moleskine or composition style notebook, open and fold it in half, then lay it on the treadmill control panel. To get a good workout and maintain legibility, I set the incline to the highest setting and walk at a slower pace.

3. In church.
Some churches encourage note taking anyway. Even in congregations where the sermons are generally insightful, you will occasionally come across the odd dud. Now’s your chance to make plot notes, or even to write dialog if you have honed the mother’s survival ability of tuning others out.

4. At child’s sports practice.
Say your fellow parents want to talk. Just take your laptop or notebook in a briefcase or put a [fake] company logo on screen. Type or scribble away. No one need know what the “important project” really is.

5. At the grocery store.
We have a cafe area at our local grocery store. When I get the chance to go to the store alone, I usually spend twenty or thirty minutes after a shopping trip writing as much as possible at one of the cafe tables.

Make sure to dim your screen if you write with a laptop. Even nosy people will have a hard time reading a screen on the lowest light setting.