You may or may not have seen my social media recently, but for those of you who didn’t, well, I have some news to share.
I’m currently 24 weeks, but I wrote most of this blog post during the first trimester when I wasn’t yet comfortable sharing my status. (I still wanted to blog about it, though!) I figure I can do a three-part series, one post for every trimester, and will inevitably post about being a working-writing mom in the future, too.
Oh, cue the baby anxiety (and excitement).
This is my first pregnancy, so everything is very new to me. The first side effect that affected my writing was the brain fog. I had absolutely no clue that it starts so early. I had brain fog before I even knew I was pregnant. (I suppose I should’ve side-eyed that lazy Saturday more suspiciously.) Strangely, though, it came with some perks.
First trimester pregnancy brain fog brought me a lot of peace. My usually high-strung, ever-plotting/dreaming brain became a rolling tide of sleep, lazy days on the couch, and playing with my cats. Where I’d usually feel bad for laying around all Saturday afternoon, I quite enjoyed it. I slept better than ever before, too, which was weird. And holy dreams. So many vivid dreams. I’ve always used my dreams as inspiration for my books, but that’s because my dreams are typically mind-blowing adventures. Pregnancy dreams? Not so much. They happen in abundance and are completely nonsensical. So, I guess it’s a no on inspiration.
No writing or inspiration? Surely I can use that energy for something else.
Oh, wait. The fatigue.
I was lucky enough to avoid morning sickness until week 9, which was nice. But I still didn’t have much energy for anything other than work and taking care of my cats.
I have literally never had an issue creating like I did in my first trimester. The brain fog was unreal. No matter how often I sat at my desk or how long I stared at my computer, I just sort of zoned out. I tried everything: creating something new, working on an old favorite, revising one of my novels that’s 90% the way there. But I just couldn’t.
Getting through work was enough of an accomplishment to be honest.
All that being said, I work full time. Working full time while pregnant is a lot, let alone using up any additional time to create. I’m not pushing myself super hard.
I also heard that a lot of the energy comes back in the second trimester, so we’ll see how that goes in that blog post. 😉
I’m definitely having some anxiety about how writing will fit into my working-mom life, but hey, many people have done it before, and I have no doubt I’ll keep pursuing the dream as much as I can.
I won’t lie, though. I’m already looking at my WIPs differently. Which ones can I finish before the baby is due? Which ones will require less energy/research/strain?
I decided to stick with my haunted YA instead of my adult fantasy or historical fantasy.
I started my writing career by writing paranormal romance. It’s always been my happy place. Why not stay there for the time being?
My kid is due in late Sept-early October, so it’ll be spooky season all around.
P.S. I have two upcoming events!
On Thursday, June 9, I’ll be teaching How to Write a Series at the Midwest Romance Writers meetup in Lenexa, Kansas. If you’re interested in attending, contact them here.
On Monday, June 13, I am teaching Starting a Writing Project via ZOOM for The Story Center at Mid-Continent Public Library. This program is free, virtual, and open to anyone in the world. Dive deep into creative inspiration, and learn tricks to prevent writer’s block. Then discover tools to help you set realistic goals and stay on track. Come prepared to put pen to paper. More information and registration here.
9 thoughts on “Writing (And Working) While Pregnant: First Trimester ”
Congrats , Shannon on your new life chapter—motherhood! I have followed you through all these years and am very happy for you on this particular one. Write what you know best and I am sure that you will have plenty of material to write as you balance both family and career life. Have a great summer!
Thank you so much. ❤ Your kind words of encouragement have stayed with me throughout all these years, and they mean so much to me, especially now. ❤ I hope you have an excellent summer, too.
It’s a juggling act for sure, but I wish you and your family the best!
Congrats to you and your husband!
Thank you so much!
Congratulations again and well done for working through the brain fog!
Thank you!!! 😁 It was certainly something.