Finding a Writing/Work Balance
How do you conciliate writing with working a full time job outside of home?
Well, right now I work AT home, but I have in the past written while I worked out of home. So. HOW does one do it?
First you have to believe, really believe, that your writing is worthwhile, that YOU DOING YOUR WRITING is worthwhile. Just as worthwhile as earning a wage. You have to believe that writing is valuable in itself. That what you have to say is of worth. I personally believe that stories make us human, make life worth living, help us understand the world and even save the universe, so for me, it’s worth it. But it’s definitely something you have to decide for yourself or it just won’t be worth giving up valuable time to write. You might only need to love to write, or to enjoy yourself, or whatever works for you.
Then you have to commit to writing. That doesn’t mean you have to write every day like a job. But you do have to give it regular attention and, when you’re ready, commit to finishing something... unless you’re only doing it for yourself as a way to pass time or exercise your mind or something. But it definitely helps to FINISH. So commit to finishing.
Which probably means dedicating some time to writing. There are many ways to do this. You can binge write for a while long weekend. You can sign up for nanowrimo in November. You can write in a journal every morning. You can start a poetry blog where you post one poem a week. You can schedule in an hour every day to get down your novel. You can take all those hidden moments in your life, carry a note book, or use your smartphone, and WRITE while you’re waiting on line, during your lunch hour, picking up your kids, between two classes, before your appointments, an hour before you go to work, half an hour before going o sleep, while dinner is cooking in the oven. HOW the writing fits into your life is a factor of YOUR LIFE and where it works. Maybe you just need to stop watching an hour of tv and replace it with writing... IDK. That depends upon what you need.
Consider that writing is not JUST adding new words into a document. It is also taking notes. Doing research. Noticing dialogue. Developing story ideas. If you can get inspired from your life while working or commuting or anything, and can use that inspiration for your own writing, then even while you are at work, you are working on your writing. What’s that saying for capitalists? Always Be Selling?? Well. Always Be Writing. Even when there are no words involved. Make your life, including work, fertile ground for your writing. Writing is how you process your life and experiences and emotions and thoughts. So use your life and your job as part of that.
Sometimes I think writing while working a full time job is easier in some ways. Yes you have time constraints, but writing with a non related job can feel like a BREAK. Writing can be energizing because you it is different from your job and you use different brain muscles to get it done. It can be a relief. When I taught English, I actually used the student assignments I gave to inspire my own writing. Right now, my work/writing balance challenge is that I write for a living, so working on my own original work doesn’t give me a break. I’m still working that one out.
All in all, managing your time and energy to make room for writing is a commitment you make because you decide writing is more important than not writing. Even when you’re busy. Often, it’s busy people who get the most done, so finding fifteen minutes a day or thirty, or an hour just to make sure you write is possible. And if you’re relating with other people while you work, there’s always fertile ground for essays, stories, poems. Make your life, including work, part of your writing. The biggest hurdle is just committing to writing.
Leave a Reply.
Wonderer, wanderer, warrior. Been around for a while. Got some stuff going on. Should probably get back to blogging. I mean....I didn't go away, I was just talking about science fiction for a while.