In my previous post, I mentioned a forum post on a writing website where a struggling writer was overwhelmed with their writing projects and hated their job.
Firstly, I get it. I’ve had crappy jobs in the past that suck all my energy so I don’t feel like writing after a long and shitty day. But quitting a job to write creates a whole bunch of others problems.
There’s the pressure to make something of your writing if you have no other income. It forces people to rush a project or get frustrated that it’s not going anywhere. Most writers feel that way at some point but have other income to keep them going.
Patience is key because this whole process can take anything from a year to three or five or ten. Anyone who can publish in less than a year makes me suspicious.
Finding time to write can be hard when you’re working, but that’s pretty much what all writers do until they make money from their books. Then maybe, they can dial back on the regular job to spend more time writing and have a double career. This is my dream.
Here are some ways I help save time so I can write more…
- I tested out some writing routines to see what times suited my creativity best. Then I keep to it as best I can and don’t let it get me down if I get too busy sometimes.
- Routines for other things like errands and chores help. I do my washing on the same days, go to the supermarket on the same days. Things like that.
- I like to write on my lunchbreak when I have my long days at work. I also use small pockets of time to work on things like outlining, character profiles, Pinterest collections or any other ideas for your writing.
- Plan meals for several days ahead, including lunches if you take that to work. It helps save time if you know what you have to prepare in advance and makes supermarket trips quicker when you know what you need in advance.
- If you like to read, try audiobooks for some multitasking. I have a long drive to work and find a good audiobook makes the time fly by. I also listen to help me relax in bed. It’s a lot like meditation.
- Relaxing is super important. On my long days at work, I watch something fun on YouTube or Netflix on my lunchbreak.
I’m very lucky in that I was working part-time when I started writing, so I had the time to establish my writing style and plan some projects and draft a pentalogy. That pentalogy is shelved for now since it’s a huge project, but I’ve finished a standalone novel (pending publication) and am currently drafting book 1 of a trilogy.
Last November, I took on some more hours at work, hence the irregular posts the past few months, but I’ve managed to write a lot and mostly keep up with my social media. It is possible to balance a full time job and writing.
Without so much social media, I’d probably work more on my writing but I love booktok and bookstagram and making silly videos and cosplaying, so I’m not going to give that up. Also, I’m establishing an online presence for when I need it for marketing. A lot of agents prefer authors who can manage their own social media, and if I self publish, I have a platform already established.
This is my hope for my writing, that it’ll be a paid part-time job to balance with my teaching job. But I would never dare think I could turn it into a full-time career. Besides, I love teaching too much to give that up anyway.
So to any writers struggling with that work/life/writing balance, don’t let it overwhelm you. If you have a paid job, then you can take your time with the writing and not let it be a burden.