How to fit writing around your day job

How to fit writing around your day job

If you’re working full-time or even part-time and trying to make a living with your writing it’s easy to fall into the trap of using your job as an excuse not to get writing done. I’m sure we’ve all done it, I know I certainly have in the past, and as each day passes without getting any words down, it then becomes a much bigger task when you do try to sit down to write.

Like a lot of things it gets easier with practice so the more you do the less effort will be required to get the words flowing.

But if you’re working a full time job, how do you fit in daily writing as well?

There are a number of options

There are a number of things you could try, then see which suits you best.

Lots of writers get up extra early in order to fit in writing before going to their day job. This will only work if you’re a ‘morning person.’  You’ll be sharper and more creative at this time of day so it’s worth trying if that’s you. If getting up in the morning is a struggle, try setting your alarm clock five minutes earlier every couple of days until you’ve got an extra half hour or so.

Streamlining your morning routine will also help, for instance, sort out what clothes you’ll be wearing the night before, make up a packed lunch if you take one. If you normally lay for ten minutes before getting up, cut it down to five minutes or better still just get up straightaway. Stop using the snooze button on your alarm and you’ll probably have an extra twenty minutes to play with.

On the other side of the coin are ‘night owls’ who only start to come alive as the sun is going down. Writing in the evening is probably the easiest route to take but it does depend on what sort of job you do. If it’s mentally draining being creative after eight hours of work can be very difficult. If that’s the case, it might be worth looking at either cutting down your hours or changing to a less mentally demanding job.

Keep the words flowing

Writing for short periods throughout the day is a good way of keeping the words flowing. Twenty minutes or half an hour a few times a day, say in the morning, lunch time and after your evening meal all adds up, even if it feels like you’re not achieving much at the time.

Scheduling your writing time into a diary or calendar will reinforce your commitment and keeping track of words per day will help to keep momentum going.

It could be that you’ll need to sacrifice something to make time for writing. I made the decision to stop watching the evening news and had an extra hour to write. How determined you are will make a big difference as to how much writing you fit in to your day. If it really matters to you and the desire is there you will find a way to get the words down.

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