Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Guest Blogger - Preslaysa Williams

Ever wonder how to balance work and parenting? My guest this week has some helpful hints when it comes to the balancing act. Welcome Preslaysa Williams. 

Preslaysa Williams (pronounced press-lay-suh) is a novelist and expert multi-tasker. She writes and edits fiction while her children nap and reads novels during her (almost) daily walks.

A 2013 ACFW Genesis finalist and a 2014 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist, she writes inspirational romance and middle grade fiction of the happily ever after sort.

Visit her online at

10 Ways to Nurture a Mama-Writing Life

Life with small children comes with a multitude of challenges. There have been many times I've walked the grocery store aisle with my two energetic children wearing a dazed, deer-in-headlights mama look on my face. Well-meaning people have come up to me and said, “Oh these are the

best years of your life. Enjoy those little ones.” I’d think to myself: Umm, it’s kind of tough to enjoy anything right now when my son is wielding a breakable bottle of Kikkoman Soy Sauce and my daughter has maneuvered her way out of the child straps in the shopping cart.

But who am I to complain?

Aside from these (very frequent) moments, I enjoy being with my children. They are cute and funny and shockingly wise at times. I also enjoy writing. For me, these two activities have shaped the grown up version of me (Preslaysa: version 2.0). However, it’s a daily challenge to squeeze in mothering and writing in one day. When I awaken each morning an internal clock starts its countdown. This internal clock reminds me I have only so many hours to do the following:

• Fill my daily writing quota

• Fill my daily editing quota

• Do any social media/blog promotion tasks

• Do homeschool lessons with the children

• Read good storybooks to the children

• Oversee and assist my son’s violin practice

• Oversee and train my children to do a simple chore or two

• Manage the inevitable child tantrum(s) or sibling squabble(s).

• Do my daily chores

• Do my weekly chores

• Update the budget, pay bills, etc.

• Read a novel

• And oh yeah, take a shower, brush my teeth and get dressed or something...

I’m pretty sure you, Mama Writer, have a pretty full plate too. Here are 5 ways to ensure you thrive both as a mom and as a writer.

1) Have a dedicated writing space. As moms, we spend a lot of time in giving mode and very little time nurturing our creative spirit. Set aside a space in your home that is off limits to children. A “room of your own” to quote Virginia Woolf. It doesn’t have to be a full room. A small desk or table away from the main activity of the family will do. You don’t always have to write in that space, of course, but knowing it’s waiting for you provides a psychological boost. You are telling yourself that the work you do as a writer matters, regardless of whether you are published or pre-published.

2) Steal time. This is one of my favorite techniques for writing. When my children are playing or eating or napping, I take out my handy dandy notebook and start writing, or I’ll pull out a page from a rough draft and start editing. These little moments add up quickly.

3) Carry a notebook or index cards with you. Collect ideas for stories or blog posts, lines of dialogue, character snippets, and rough scene outlines for later use. This will help guard against that mythical idea called “writer’s block.” When you sit down to write, you’ll have a bunch of ideas ready to flesh out. If you use index cards, make sure they are attached to a ring binder for ease of use.

4) Use a Timer. I love timers. A timer keeps me on track during the day. I have two - one for upstairs and one for downstairs. I also have a timer on my wristwatch. (I’m a little obsessive about timers!) For 2015, I recently found a great Google Extension called Stay Focused which will block me out of social media sites after I fill my daily time limit quota on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. I tell you, Stay Focused made me quickly prioritize

how I spend my time on social media! These tools alone have kept me more focused and less idle. They’ve empowered me to actually do the work that shapes my greater calling as a wife,

5) Use checklists. I am also a checklist person. It’s not because I am particularly organized; I am quite the opposite. Checklists are my taskmaster. I’ve created a checklist that maps out my normal morning, afternoon and evening routines. I don’t follow my checklists to a T, and that’s okay. I can go to bed with an unfinished checklist guilt free. I have another day to accomplish those tasks. However, if I didn’t have the checklist to remind me, I’d be all scrambled up! Checklists simply tell me to do what matters whenever I am prone to get lost in the World Wide Web. Checklists are a girl’s best friend.

There you have it: five easy ways to manage a writing life and motherhood. What have you done to manage this Great Balancing Act?

Preslaysa, when I first entered the world of writing I had young children. I well remember how difficult it was to balance my writing career and mothering. Thank you for these helpful guidelines.

Although Preslaysa doesn't yet have a book ready to purchase, she is hard at work. She's creating an inspirational romance set in Charleston, South Carolina while also writing a middle grade novel placed in New York, NY.

Cheering for you, Preslaysa!

It's Wednesday 
which means FREE books!
This week I'm giving away a complete series.

To qualify for the drawing, all you need to do is leave a comment. Make sure to include your email address so I can contact you.

Our winner from last week is Deanna Stevens!

Grace and peace to you from God,



  1. Anonymous7:19 PM

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this set of books. I have read most of your books and love them all. I also enjoy the author interviews.

  2. I love your Wednesday give aways! I really enjoy your books! Sncreasey@gmail.com

  3. Thank you, ladies.

    Wednesdays interviews and special bloggers are always fun. Often I get to meet someone new. And writers are some of the most interesting people I've ever met - always lots of surprises.

  4. Someone in my Christian reading group on Goodreads said "giveaway of Bonnie Leon book" and I said, "WHERE?!!?!?" I'm a huge fan and I'm not ashamed to say I hope I win! LOL! I tend to devour books like yours in one sitting, so I'm always looking for something to read next. God bless!

  5. Ohhh!! This set of books looks wonderful!! Thanks for offering a chance to win them!! :D


  6. Oh my goodness. thank you for sharing your story Preslaysa. Im a single mom of a sassy, passionate 7 1/2 year old and sometimes I feel like I'm going to explode or break. The balance of parenting, working, and enjoying hobbies I'm passionate about often feels unattainable. Bonnie, last year when life was rough and I struggled to care, I stumbled upon this series in the library. As I'm discovering my passions and finding new hobbies I look to strong women as examples of encouragement. Keep up the great work!
    Nmountainspring at gmail dot com

  7. Wow- what great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. I especially like the idea of the "Stay Focused" app. I find myself spending way too much time on social media so this would be a great way to keep me accountable for my time.

  8. Oops- forgot my email address. It's jennybug52 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  9. Anonymous3:32 PM

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this set of books. It is my favorite series you have written. I have spent time living and working in Alaska and even though I am back in Oregon, a part of my heart is still in Alaska!

  10. Anonymous3:33 PM

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this set of books. It is my favorite series you have written. I have spent time living and working in Alaska and even though I am back in Oregon, a part of my heart is still in Alaska! Sorry, I posted my previous contact without putting my email address. :) chelby1@charter.net

  11. Bonnie Traher5:27 PM

    Wow. I figured it out. What an awesome prize.

  12. I would love to have this for our maternity home for teen moms.

  13. I do like it when a set is given.. Can truly enjoy the whole story! Great giveaway and enjoyed today's post...
    dkstevensneAToutlookD OtCom
    I see I won last weeks giveaway... Thanks so much, Dee

  14. Hi Preslaysa: These are great ideas and not just for writers with children at home. I suspect we all have a busy schedule, whether it's an outside job, a work-at-home jon (like I do), volunteer and church activities, adult children and grandbabies -- we should all have a space we can call our own, dedicated to our calling, and be prepared with something to write on when the muse hits. Thanks for the ideas and the reinforcement.