Do you think it is possible to write a book while you are holding down a fulltime job at the same time? And if you do, what are one or two major things you must tackle to be successful at it?
Great question! In today’s publishing world, I think most authors hold down a full time job while they are starting to write. Publishing doesn’t pay too well in the early years (authors like Grisham, N. Sparks and S. King are NOT the norm. *g*) so it’s important to have another source of income. However, admittedly it isn’t easy to write while having a full time job, and there are definitely some techniques to help make this an easier task. Since I am a home-schooler, which FEELS like a full time job, here are some of the things I do to carve out productive time.
1. Establish a set time every day, or every other day to write and keep this time sacred. Block it out on your calendar. If you only write “when you can,” then there will always be things that will get in the way…from walking the dog to making chocolate chip cookies… Set a time, and keep that appointment with yourself, telling yourself you are investing in your dreams.
2. Keep a writing Journal and every day log what you have done, and your goals for the next day. You will access different sides of your brain as you are writing than you do when you are working, and instead of always keeping both sides active, if you write down where you were and where you want to go each day, you can let your creative side “rest” while you are at work, knowing you can pick right back up when you return to your writing enclave.
3. Keep a notepad handy. Even though you have made notes for yourself to keep your creative side from overloading, your subconscious will still be working…and I guarantee that you will be right in the middle of a meeting, or an email, or even lunch, and suddenly you will hear/see/dream up your next scene. Quick – grab your notebook before you lose your thought and write down just enough words to trigger the memory again, later. Then, you won’t have lost it, but will have put it into its appropriate place to be pulled out during your writing time.
4. Rest and Recreate! When you have a full time job AND are trying to write, it’s very important to escape from BOTH of those to exercise, or hang out with friends, read a good book, or even watch television. The well of ideas will run dry if you don’t replenish, so make sure you schedule in time for these. BALANCE is the key here, even if you have to cut down on social time, etc. to write. Hermits are only good writers in fiction novels.
It’s not easy to hold down a full-time job and write, but if you carve out specific time, set goals, make notes to capture your creativity and stay well-balanced in the other areas of life, you will find that the writing will spill out of you, and that sooner than later, you will have a finished novel! (or 2 or 3!) Happy Writing!