A Writer with a Day Job
How to make time for writing.
You Are Not Alone
As a writer, we realise early on, that writing is hard and what’s harder than writing is getting noticed and making money from writing. Which is why, most writers have jobs, either day jobs or night gigs.
While some jobs are very much closer to writing and can help train those writing muscles, most aren’t.
And that’s okay because what we writers really need is a book, a pen, a laptop, a desk, a chair and a well-lit room. But, most of all we need TIME.
Time: Finding Balance
My day job involves coding, attending meetings and looking at emails. My day job is over at six. At six, I feel exhausted and relieved. I also feel the urge to write because I have made a pact with myself that I will write every day — Write when the weather is good, write when the weather is bad and write when the weather is whateva!
Because the time we spend, in solitude, working at our creative pursuits gives us enormous joy, fulfilment and meaning.
David Baldacci wrote every night from 10 pm to 2 am while he was working as a lawyer
So, you don’t need the motivation to write — You need discipline.
You can write at night, before work or during lunch. I once tried to write on the job, it didn’t work for me because I need complete focus and not divided attention. It was a really bad idea and I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone. If you can’t find time during the weekdays, you have…
I use my weekends to write. It’s not easy but if you can do it, without destroying relationships, then, you will be fine.
Again, this is where discipline gives you freedom because if you did not postpone that project, which your boss assigned to you and did it on time — You can spend your weekends writing that short story or that novel or that poem without letting it die inside. But, wait! You need an idea, don’t you?
Ideas: The Soul
Every short story or poem or novel begins with an idea in the writer’s brain. As writers, we are constantly bombarded with ideas. These ideas can be good or bad, and you only know if you write.
Instead of whining about your gruelling job, why not focus on the lessons it’s teaching you.
Having a day job is a blessing because you get to interact (ahem, virtually) with a lot of people, you get different experiences and these experiences give you ideas and also help make your work relevant.
You have to be observant and open-minded for understanding the people around you to make your characters realistic and interesting.
Your friends, siblings or colleagues can become your beta-readers, you can test out your ideas by talking to people. Believe me, it will save you, from wasting time on writing stuff that’s boring and bad.
Finally, You can do it.
Believe in yourself, you might be stuck like I am stuck with a scene as of this writing and the only way out of this labyrinth is writing, and writing alone.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Writer, my friend!