Help Please! Work

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Season's Greetings :) Maybe you can re-balance things, given time. Some people here will tell you they get up earlier to write. Others stay up later. Some use their holidays to write. Some scrap other activities to make time for writing. I don't know anyone here who is a full time writer, living entirely off their writing and requiring no other source of income.
 
Hi @Imran Omer. If you build writing into a daily routine it becomes easier to commit to and manage. You've got to be prepared to give up other hobbies and cut down on your social time (sadly).

If you have children + a significant other, then you've got your work cut out (I have neither, so this really frees up my weekends for writing). There's also the question of the work commute. Although I work 9 hr days it only takes me 30 mins to get to/from work, so this opens up more time for me in the evenings. I do know people who have 60-90 min commutes and this makes it all the more challenging.

If you have a thirst for writing you'll be able to carve time out for it (as deep down you won't want to do anything else; I can't wait for Xmas to end so I can start writing again!), but it'll require sacrifices and the more responsibilities you have the tougher it gets to make time. I know I'm in a better position (or worse depending on your perspective of the lack of a family!) than most.
 
Hello Imran. When young, I used to dream of becoming a pensioner so I could dedicate all my time to writing and some painting- but my greatest love was writing. I thought how marvelous it would be if I didn't have to reduce my social life threadbare, because that's basically when I got my novels writ (OK I know that should be "written", but doesn't "writ" sound so lovely!) Instead of going off dancing, the youth club, listening to Radio Luxembourg, I would be tucked away somewhere in a corner writing. But I did it quite willingly, so much so that I didn't find socializing such an attraction anymore- and I guess that's why writers get that terrible brand stuck to them of living in an ivory tower, because they have "better things to do."
But now that I am a pensioner, I hate to admit it, but I get less writing done than when I had a full time job. The fact is, unless I am under pressure I tend to, not exactly "squander" life, but certainly doing some of the more pleasant things in life than writing, because at the end of the day, yes writing is a passion, but it also takes up a lot of energy in brain muscle exercising, in other words, work. However, a real writer is never rid of the plague of writing. When an idea, a topic, a circumstance, a piece of life takes hold of your brain, you've had it, you're trapped, it won't let you go until you pick up your pen or pc and fill that blank page with its dictates. Whether you be as busy as the president of the United States or idle away your day as a pensioner, it isn't you that in effect discerns when or what to write, but what comes from inside which will give you no respite until you give it a life. Well... that's what I think but there are many other lanes that will take you along the road less traveled by. :)
 
I think the key is to be realistic in what you can write but to do everything to be consistent in that. So if you are working on a first draft, then 500 words per day strikes me as a reasonable goal and you will invariably do more. Stick with that for 6 months and you have well in excess of 90,000 words. Or in terms of KSIS, perhaps a chapter a day. Also with the advent of smart-phones and tablets then you can probably fit in your writing in the oddest of places. Don't get me wrong, I suspect we would all love the chance to have a wonderful writing space, with inspiring views but needs must, so if you are crammed onto a commuter train/bus or even on the loo and if want this enough, you will write.

But do your best to make sure you write every day. Struggled with that of late myself and I realise how crucial it is for me to make my writing a regular part of my life. Read on here about 'writing in the cracks', or words to that effect, and it stuck with me. Words on paper, be it real or electronic, are what it is all about and if you cannot commit to that, then there is no point.
 
I would also say to be in the habit of writing every day. I feel, that in order to try achieve something of the highest order that you must make a choice (to write) and keep making that choice. I write at night because I home-ed our kids and the only time I (kind of) get at the moment is when they (eventually) go to bed. It will probably take, as @Katie-Ellen mentioned, time to re-balance; but once things settle down, you will hopefully find pockets of consistent time to write. Best of luck with the new job and your writing :)
 
I'm really lucky as my husband has let me off contributing financially for a while, to pursue my writing, but when I wrote my first novel I was helping him set up a company and raising kids. It was always a struggle to resist a glass of wine at teatime but if I had one then, the evening was shot. While the kids and husband watched crap TV between about 7 and 9 I used to sit in the next room and write. Then I'd do the bedtime routine and finally have my wine before settling down for more crap TV before bed!
It is hard though, and antisocial, there's no getting away from it. And I so much wanted that drink at teatime after a tiring day!
 
All of the above. I think it's a case of making time for it. And prioritising to what's most important.

What's your day job?

I'm self employed which enables me to schedule an easy week if I feel like it, or cut an hour here or there. Some weeks are naturally quiet. Yeah, it affects my pay, but hey.

I don't watch much telly these days. Amazing how much time I suddenly have.

My MS is always open and ready. I get up and get the MS up on my comp screen. It stays there until I go to bed. I grab every moment, and even when I'm making dinner, my mind is ticking over. Amazing how much you can write while cutting and boiling broccoli. A lot of the writing happens in my head, meaning I think about it while I work, drive, excersise, brush my teeth.
 
Thanks for asking this! Good to hear everyone's responses. I'm currently contemplating how/if I'll continue writing. I didn't get anywhere on serious writing until I was able to close my businesses and write nearly full time (due to a supportive spouse with a good job). But last week we bought land and are building a house. And in February my first child goes off to university. So I need to get a 'real' job in order to pay the new mortgage and education costs. I don't want to go back to not writing, but I also know how impossible it was for me while working full time. I'll also be losing my writing space in the new house, so it'll be even harder ... Can't say I'm overly thrilled about the move.
 
Thanks for asking this! Good to hear everyone's responses. I'm currently contemplating how/if I'll continue writing. I didn't get anywhere on serious writing until I was able to close my businesses and write nearly full time (due to a supportive spouse with a good job). But last week we bought land and are building a house. And in February my first child goes off to university. So I need to get a 'real' job in order to pay the new mortgage and education costs. I don't want to go back to not writing, but I also know how impossible it was for me while working full time. I'll also be losing my writing space in the new house, so it'll be even harder ... Can't say I'm overly thrilled about the move.

Fortunately, weŕe never too old to write, and itś never to late to get back to it, so im sure you'll get back to it as soon as possible.
 
I agree with what everyone above said.

This year for the first time I participated in NaNoWriMo. My goal was not to write 50K words. My goal was to create a daily routine. I planned to write for an hour each day when I got home from work. I let my SO other know and he helped by not disturbing me for that hour I set aside. When he was out of town for work he would ask each night when he called "Did you write today?" After the month ended, it continued. He still asks me if I got my writing done. I still write for an hour each day, fitting it in on work breaks, lunch, or whenever I can so that I keep to the hour. Sometimes I do more, but always at least an hour. I also started marking off my planner with a W on the days I wrote (I prefer a paper planner for most things). I started doing that a year ago when I began yoga. Now I have a W and Y next to most days. It helps to be able to see when I don't fill in a letter and it prompts me to do better the next day.

I have an approximately hour and a half driving commute to and from work. Fifty of those miles are on open highway so it's a good time to listen to writing podcasts, inspirational audiobooks, etc. When I started commuting I listened to the news or podcasts. Going from working from home to that commute took some getting used to. One day I decided that the time in the car was three hours I could devote to thinking about my book uninterrupted. I work on plotting, scenes, character development or whatever is on my agenda for the day. I have an iWatch and the Just Press Record app is invaluable. I speak into my wrist to tell Siri to "Open Just Press Record" and I turn into Dick Tracy. At some point during the week I play back all my random thoughts and get them on paper or my computer. The time in the car thinking about my book means that I'm ready to hit the page as soon as I walk in the door to make sure that I get my thoughts down while they are fresh.

The other advantage to working in an office is I keep my ears and eyes open for dialogue and character traits. I work in IT. There is a LOT to mine there. I'm a notebook geek so I always make sure that I have my pen and pocket notebook with me. In meetings it just looks like I'm taking meeting notes. A few of my characters are based on the physical characteristics of people in my building.

Finally, I sit in front of a computer for most of the day. I always have my earphones in listening to writing podcasts, the radio, or other on air media that inspires me. Again, notebook is at hand to jot things down for later research. When I want to concentrate on something writing related then it's time to stretch my legs and go for a 15-minute or so walk, which I would do anyway.

When I took a job outside my house I made a conscious decision to turn every minute of being there to my advantage in any way I could to advance my writing. Besides the paycheck, of course.
 
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Very difficult. I get up very early and try to get in some writing before 6:30, which is when the kids get up. But this is rarely quality time, and there's no doubt it compromises my day-job effectiveness. And sometimes I only get a sentence done per day. I'd like to give up the day-job, but am not in a position to do so. Am thinking about trying to negotiate a 3 or 4 day week to free up time. It's not great, but maybe it forces us to develop in ways that we would not had we unlimited time.
 
Very difficult. I get up very early and try to get in some writing before 6:30, which is when the kids get up. But this is rarely quality time, and there's no doubt it compromises my day-job effectiveness. And sometimes I only get a sentence done per day. I'd like to give up the day-job, but am not in a position to do so. Am thinking about trying to negotiate a 3 or 4 day week to free up time. It's not great, but maybe it forces us to develop in ways that we would not had we unlimited time.
This is the dilemma most writers have to come to terms with. You feel guilty if you don't write because you owe it to yourself to do so, but you also feel guilty if you do write, because you are taking time away from others. What I did was enjoy myself fully when I was with others or with my job, and didn't give writing a thought so when I sat down to write and closed the door on all else, I felt quite at ease with that and had no feelings of regret. To remain sane you have to reach the point where you are no longer at logger heads with one priority against another. Easier said than done. :rolleyes:
 
If I have a deadline I want to meet, I'll get up early ~5.30/6 and write for about 30-45 mins before work. I'll also often write after dinner when my SO sits down to watch TV. I put in my headphones, turn up my writing music and write on the couch next to him on my laptop.
 
I don't work full time and sometimes I don't work at all. I also don't write full time. Although, sometimes I write full time. Every now and again I might write more than full time. Of course, writing isn't always writing what I want to write. Sometimes, it's barely writing. Also, what I consider writing work isn't always spent writing. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I take notes. Sometimes I have to communicate with people (yuck!).

So, there you have it.

Best of luck to you.

Don't buy that Enjoli nonsense.

The Modern Woman

Although .... I'm thinking you're not a woman.

Still. Point applies.
 
That advert is a puddle of pukiness.

Life's not long enough to do everything we maybe COULD do. Freedom is in choosing the roads left untaken.
 
For me, I totally committed a couple of years ago to the first draft of my novel. I rose at 4 am, walked for 30 minutes, and wrote until 6:30 five times a week, and then for as long as I possibly could on Saturday. It took me a year of this schedule to finish the first draft. After a few months, and then another really BIG project that took me away, I worked on my second draft, which I approached differently. For this, I worked only on the weekends, for as long as I could. Sometimes my session was two hours, sometimes six (when my muse came to sit with me). Incidentally, i LOVE this state, when you should by all rights be exhausted, but then somehow, somewhere, this energy comes into you and you forget about time and place... and three thousand words later you come up for air, and you're thinking, who was that writing? Me?

All this was brutal. I have new grey hair by the day :rolleyes:.

For the first draft, people noticed me taking naps at lunch towards the end. And for the second, after stringing six weeks along with no break, I found myself pissier than I should have been most days... But after it all, I look at my manuscript and think, i wrote that. It was painful, and isn't perfect, but it's my art, my song if you will. And somehow, in a few weeks or months or years, I forget the pain, and get back to work...
 
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