How To Juggle Writing With Your Day Job

By on December 15, 2016
How To Juggle Writing With Your Day Job - Writer's

For many writers, writing is something that they have to fit in around other work and life commitments. In fact, only a very small proportion of lucky (and talented, of course) writers get to quit their day jobs and write full time.

It can be difficult, therefore, to keep motivated, and constantly hunt for those gaps in your busy day where you can snatch a little bit of time to write. However, if it is your passion, it is so important to make time for your writing, despite having so many other commitments. Writing takes time, practice and dedication, and the more you prioritise other things over your writing the harder it will get to stay motivated and to improve.

So how do you juggle writing with your day job? Try these top tips.

Get up 30 minutes earlier

While admittedly, there are those jobs where you already have to get up at the crack of dawn, or perhaps you have children to take care of and organise in the morning, most of us, if we really wanted to, could set our alarms a little earlier. Even as little as 30 minutes means that you could sit down and write every single day. Try doing it for a week and see how much better and more motivated you feel.

Make writing part of your routine

If you truly care about your writing then try to make it part of your daily routine. Whether it is first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. Before you go to bed, on your commute, on your lunch break, or on the weekends - whatever works for you. Just blocking out that time to write - and sticking to it, will mean you are writing regularly. You will be far more likely to stay motivated to write if it becomes a ‘habit’ rather than something you try to fit in as and when.

Join a writing group

Join a writing class or writing group to keep you writing. If you surround yourself with like-minded people and have a class or group to attend each week, you may find it much easier to keep writing a part of your life rather than simply relying on your own willpower and dedication to make sure it happens.

Give something up

You may have a calendar packed with commitments, social engagements and hobbies. Perhaps you need to reassess what is most important to you. Is there anything you can give up to make time for your writing? It might simply be that hour of TV you watch every night, or it could be the weekly tennis lesson you have. If writing is a priority, then it may be you are happy to sacrifice another area of your life to make it happen.

Create a writing sanctuary

Having a space that is just for you and your writing, where you won’t be disturbed and can think creatively can help you write more productively. Having this place away from your office and separate from the other activities you do in your home can be very beneficial. Your brain will get used to the fact that every time you go there, it is time to get writing, and so you’ll find it easier to focus on that rather than trying to write in your kitchen surrounded by last night's washing up and a big pile of laundry that needs doing!

Tell your friends, family and colleagues

Tell your nearest and dearest how important your writing is to you, encourage them to be interested in it as well. If your friends and family know that writing is your passion, they will respect that and do their best not to tempt you away with other offers! The more people that know about it, the more you’ll feel like a writer, and want to have something to say to them when they ask you how it's going!

Set goals and deadlines

Having writing goals and deadlines to stick to will keep you more motivated to work even when what you feel like doing is plonking yourself down on the sofa and watching movies all evening. Give yourself realistic and achievable targets otherwise you’ll feel like you have failed before you have even begun.

Writing while juggling a full-time job can be difficult. However, by staying organised and focused and writing as often as you can, you’ll manage to keep up with your writing while having a career at the same time.

Do you have any tips on how to juggle writing while working? Let us know!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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