YA Author Kim Chance Discusses Juggling Writing & Motherhood

Kim Chance is one multi-talented woman. She's the author of two successful young adult fantasy books- Keeper and its sequel Seeker (the latter of which came out earlier this year).  But she's also a writing mentor and YouTuber who dispenses writing advice in between sharing parts of her busy life. Actually, busy is an understatement- between her two twin daughters and her young son, she has her hands full!

We had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Chance earlier this month. We learned how she juggles everything so well, her path to becoming an author, and if she'd ever write a book with one of her kids.

Moms.com (M): Please give us some background on yourself up to today.

Kim Chance (KC): I am a mom to three, a proud military wife, a former high school English teacher, and a traditionally published young adult author. Whew! I’m tired just typing it all out! I’m a pretty busy lady, but I feel very blessed to be where I am in life and even though I drink way too much coffee, I love all the different hats I wear.

M: What made you want to become an author?

KC: Writing has always been a huge part of my life. When I was younger, I used to write in a diary and I would chronicle my life within its pages. As I got older, I experimented with writing poetry and short stories, and I moved from a paper diary to a digital one. Writing has always been how I cope and process the world around me. I’m not always great at physically expressing how I’m feeling but plop me in front of a computer with a blank word document and I can pour out my heart. I got my bachelor’s degree in Journalism and my Masters in English education because I wanted to share my love of words with other people. It wasn’t until I was well into my 20s that I realized fiction writing was an avenue I wanted to explore, but I’m so glad I did! At that time, my husband was deployed and I was living alone for the first time in my life. I was lonely and living in a brand new town. I started dabbling in Harry Potter fanfiction to pass the time, and a friend who read my stories encouraged me to try writing original fiction. The rest is history! Being an author and writing fiction is truly my calling, and I enjoy it so much!

M: How has being a writer impacted motherhood for you?

KC: Writing has impacted me greatly as a mother, but I think the biggest impact—and perhaps the most special one—is getting to share my dream with my kids. They see me working hard and then when they see my books at the bookstore. They’re always so proud and they always point them out. As a mom, it’s very important for me to teach them to be courageous in the pursuit of their dreams. I never want them to be afraid to try something or pursue a passion because it seems too difficult or far-fetched. I want them to take that chance and go for it. But if I’m going to give that advice, I have to also take it—even when I want to give up and quit, I have to keep reaching for those stars. I’m proud to set an example for them.

M: Would ever encourage your children to become authors?

KC: I would absolutely encourage my children to become authors, but only if it was something they truly desired for themselves. I would never want to push it on them, and I certainly don’t have any expectations that they will follow in my footsteps.

If they ever decided they wanted to be an author, I would be so excited, and I’d help them in any way I could. I love writing and to be able to share that passion with one or more of my kids would be so special. I would definitely speak to them very realistically about the industry and what the pros and cons are, but I would support them. I’ve always been a dreamer, and I hope my children know that whatever they decide to pursue, I will be there in their corner, waving my pom-poms!

via Kim Chance

M: If one of your children wanted to write a book with you in the future, would you?

KC: Oooh! That’s such a fun idea! I would love to! I think it would be very challenging, but I also think it would be a really great way to connect on a deeper level. Authors pour out their hearts and souls into their words, and to be able to see my child doing that and getting to participate in that would be an experience like no other!

M: How do you balance your work life and home life effectively?

KC: Honestly, I’m not sure I would say that I’m effective at balancing work and home life, just a little more seasoned. I’ve had a lot of practice at this point, but life still feels like a goat rodeo on a daily basis so I guess that tells you how well I’m doing!

The biggest issue is, of course, time management. Every day it’s a challenge to balance and juggle my kiddos with my creative passions. I make it work, although it’s not easy, and I’ll be honest: I haven’t always gotten it right. Many times I’ve chosen my work over my kids and then felt awful about it later. I’ve also had times when I’ve been so focused on my kids, that I didn’t write a single word. It’s hard not to beat myself up about it, but at the end of the day, there’s always going to be something that deserves my time and attention but won’t receive it. I try to show myself grace, though. I’m only one person and allowing myself the realization that I can’t do it all has saved me a lot of heartache.

I’ve also learned over the last few years that clear priorities help. It’s taken a lot of trial and error, but I’ve finally figured out a system that works for me. I write mostly at night when my kids are sleeping. It’s not ideal—my brain works better during the day—but while my children are small, it’s important for me to be available to them. So, I tend to sacrifice sleep in order to get it all done. Again, not ideal, but it’s what works for me at this stage of life.

M: What’s your best piece of advice for first-time parents?

KC: This is probably the most cliché advice ever, but it really is true: Soak it all up! Our littles grow SO fast. Pursuing creative endeavors is wonderful, but being a parent is such a precious gift. Enjoy every little moment. All the belly laughs and the slobbery kisses. The silly songs and even the temper tantrums. Achieving your dreams is an absolutely incredible feeling, but just keep in mind, that the most precious and best thing you will ever do or create is the same thing that’s making you watch Frozen for the 300th time in a row.

Thank you for talking with us! You can learn more about Kim and her novels- Keeper and Seeker- on her website.

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