How to Juggle a Writing Career as well as a Full Time Job

Okay, I’ll say it, writing isn’t exactly the most well paying job out there when your first start out so in order to yano, survive, a lot of us have to go out and get jobs and with the ever rising prices of rent, food and utilities for most us, getting a full time job is the only option.
Working 40 hours a week as well as dealing with the other stresses that life brings, it can be pretty difficult to find the time to live… let alone write.

In this post, I hope to help you learn to juggle your writing career as well as your job and in doing so too find a healthy balance in your life that you’re happy with.

It’s hard work, but if you want something badly enough it’s worth it.
  • Have a set ‘writing time’ I can’t stress this point enough, making time in your day to write is essential if you’re serious about making it a career. You have set hours to go to work so make set hours for your writing as well. I am well aware that nowadays most jobs don’t offer the normal nine-to-five hours and if you’re like me and have eight hour shifts dotted all over the shop it can be extremely difficult to set a set time to write. It’s difficult, but doable.  The best advice I can give is become one of those people who plan their days. Just for the simplicity we’ll use the nine-to-five hours as an example. 
6am - 9am - Get up, have breakfast, cup of tea/coffee (what ever your preference) get ready, go to work. Simple.
    9am - 5pm - Work.
    5pm - 7pm - Get home, eat dinner, relax a little (it’s important to have that time to unwind)
    7pm - 9pm - Writing time.

    9pm - 6am - Sleep.

    And then we start it all over again…

    I understand that everyones lives are different and we all have different commitments but planning your day and putting aside even just the smallest amount of time to write will make a huge difference. Writing something in that little time you’ve set aside is better than writing nothing because you’ve set no time aside at all.

    • Make the most of your day Just because you’re at work or out shopping doesn’t mean you just magically stop being a writer for that period of time and just because you’re not sitting in your writing space purposely working on your book doesn’t mean you can’t write. Make the most of your time. I find always having a notepad or dictaphone on me helps. It means that even though I’m not specifically sitting down to work on what ever it is I’m writing, throughout the day I can still think of ideas, plot twist, characters and possible outcomes and then when I do sit down specifically to write all those things I’ve been filling my notepad and dictaphone with all day are going to help the process.

    • Take a ‘writing holiday’ No, this isn’t encouraging you to call in sick so you can spend the day writing. You have bills to pay. Taking a writing holiday is something I do as often as I can. Some people take holiday’s at work to go abroad, to have a well deserved rest, for loads of reason’s really; I suppose the beauty of accrued holiday time is that you don’t have to explain yourself. Me, I take holidays to write. Whether it’s a day, a few days, a few weeks, it doesn’t matter as long you actually use your writing holiday for the reason that you’ve taken it. It’s precious time that once it’s gone it’s gone so don’t waste it! 

    • Take a ‘holiday from writing’ Yes, it is important to set aside time to write and to do it often but it is just as important to set aside time for yourself. Working full time, raising a family, living in general and writing - it’s all very stressful so as long as you’ve put enough into your writing to earn this, take a break and take some time out for you. Sometimes, creativity is at its best from a well rested and refreshed mind.  

    As I’ve said already in this post, everyone’s lives and commitments are different but implementing these simple steps into your life will make a huge difference.

    I really hope they help and happy writing guys!

    J A Shaw (@jashawofficial)

    If you've enjoyed this post check out: How to go from 'Someone who Writes' to 'Writer'

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