Making Time To Write When You Work Full-Time

writing image.jpg

Thirty minutes 

of writing here and there adds to your word count

Most emerging writers realise, quite quickly, giving up the day job and writing full-time doesn't make sense financially. Most writers and published authors I know still have their day job.  Even successful children's authors with book series or good sales records have not broken through the six-figure salary ceiling.

So how do you juggle your daily word count and the full-time job as well as be a parent and wife/partner?

I have an exhausting job as a project manager during the day, so I am a bit brain dead at night. I'm a morning person, so my peak writing time is 5am before the house wakes up. This also means  going to bed by 9:30pm and having my own writing space. So ensure you have a desk in a quiet corner, some good headphones or even better, your own study. At best, I can smash out 700-800 words in over an hour and then I feel completely satisfied for the rest of the day. I've also taken to 'writing' via Evernote audio, speaking in dot points action in scenes, then dictating my MP3 recording and writing it out at night on the laptop. It's not the audio to text software, but it is free.

I also choose what I do in 'spare time' wisely. Do two parents need to go to the children's sports game? Do I need to do the grocery shop every week? Why am I watching this stupid TV show? In the time I have watched an episode of some new TV drama (that is not either Stranger Things or The Handmaiden's Tale) I could have edited or written 500 words. And those words add up to say 10,000 words in a couple of weeks. 

I also push myself to write even when I don't truly feel like it.  But I see it like going jogging or to a gym class. You have to do it regularly to reap the rewards. If I'm super tired or my brain isn't switched on, I'll tell myself to write only 50 words and, mostly, surprise myself by writing on through and reaching 500 words.  And those 500 words, overtime, will turn into a 50,000 word first draft.

See you can write a novel and pay the bills. 

What are your tips for full-time writers? Feel free to comment below.