Don’t Quit Your Day Job: How to Balance Work and Writing

Posted September 16, 2014 by Briana in Productivity / 3 Comments

Photo by Gerard Arcos on Flickr
If you have a full-time job, chances are that you’re so worn out at the end of the day that you don’t feel much like working on your novel. You don’t have enough time or energy. You’ll never do it. You know what? That’s crazy. You can do it. Here’s how.
Try the Nifty 350. I just read an amazing post by author Chuck Wendig that recommends writing at least 350 words every day. That’s it. 350. How easy it that? No matter how busy or tired you are, I’m sure you can manage to write 350 words. Keep that momentum and you’ll have drafted a novel within a year. The best part? That’s with weekends off!

Utilize pauses. If you feel pressed for time, look for pockets of rest scattered throughout the day. Waiting rooms, lines, bathrooms, and children’s dance recitals (joking) are excellent places to work on your story. Make sure you have a notebook or smartphone with you to capture thoughts on the go.

Stop making excuses. When it comes down to it, if you really want to write a novel, you’ll make it a priority. You’ll move heaven and earth to get those ideas down on paper. Trust me on this one.

Alter your routine. Can you wake up earlier or stay up later? You might have to change your schedule if you’re serious about writing. Figure out what time works best for you and set and alarm or have a cup of coffee. You can do it.

Stay motivated. Whether it’s by tracking your progress or rewarding your work, find a way to keep your spirits up so you’ll keep writing. You’re less likely to lose interest if you’re properly motivated.

Writing a novel while holding down a job isn’t easy, but it can be done. If you have drive, passion, and flexibility, you can make it happen. 
What advice do you have for balancing work and writing?

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3 responses to “Don’t Quit Your Day Job: How to Balance Work and Writing

  1. So true, daily writing is essential for keeping that momentum. I have a question though. Does your daily writing habit change when you move onto the revision stage? Do you focus 100% on the rewrite or do you keep time for writing new material alongside the revision?

  2. I know a lot of writers can focus on more than one project at a time. I am not one of them. For me, the quality of both projects tends to suffer if I divide my time between them.