Time for a chinwag with another mammy in our continuing ‘5 Things About Mammy’ series. This week I chat to author and blogger Nicola Cassidy about her new book aptly called
December Girl and all things motherhood!
Being a December girl myself, I cannot wait to grab a few hours to dive into her debut novel, which is out now!
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1. As A Busy Mum How Did You Find Time To Sit Down And Write Your New Book, December Girl?
I started researching December Girl when my first daughter was five months old. I was just about adjusted to the reality of being Mum and having this new little constant in my life, and I found myself in the evenings, when she’d settled, looking for something to do, something creative, something outside of the humdrum of motherhood. That’s when I turned to writing. It took me a long time, but I eventually got into a routine where night times and evenings became ‘my’ time and I couldn’t wait to escape into this new world I had created. I gave up TV and if I’m honest, sacrificed a lot of time with my husband too. (He’s used to it now!) If I didn’t get to write I got very angsty. Now that I have two daughters, it’s harder to find the time, especially at night as bedtimes are not settled and often run into 11pm which is just exhausting. Instead I take the time during the day, during naptime, while my daughter is at playschool, any hour that I can grab and the laptop is out. At the moment I’m mainly working on marketing and I actually haven’t written creatively in a long time. So I’m looking forward to getting back into that in the New Year and praying the girls get settled into a 8pm bedtime. That would be amazing!
2. How Did You Get Into Writing?
I was always into it. I wrote stories and poems as a child. I won a few competitions and I had stories and letters printed in national magazines – like the RTE Guide! I got such a buzz out of that, and it spurred me on. I loved English and knew I wanted to do something in the writing field, which is why I studied journalism. I knew I wanted to write a book one day, but I thought it would be something I’d do when I was much, much older. I really think if I didn’t have my children, none of this would have come about. One of the best things I did in my 20s were creative writing courses at the Irish Writers’ Centre. I think I learned how to write there, properly. Who to read, who to study, who to aspire to. I’d love to do a masters in creative writing some day.
3. If You Could Give New Mums Just One Piece Of Advice, What Would It Be?
Well now, there’s nothing Mums love more than being told what to do right! My advice would be, don’t mind all the advice and just do what suits you, your family, find your own way. Sometimes we try to do things because we feel we should or it’ll please other people. That’s not to say finding out best practice isn’t a bad thing either. I’m always searching for tips on better parenting, especially if I’m facing a challenge with my feisty three year old. But every child is different, every family is different. We are all doing our best, and we all suffer enough Mammy guilt, I think.
4. If You Could Take Off Your Mummy Hat For An Entire Day And Just Be You Again, What Would You Do?
Oh God, imagine! Could that be arranged?! I would fly myself out to a hot, tropical place. I would play tennis, eat lovely food all day, go for cocktails, read a brilliant book and then get my hair and make-up done and head out to some amazing bars and discos and dance the night away. Just like my old life. EXACTLY like my old life haha!
5. Finally, Describe Motherhood In 5 Words.
Full of love and chaos.