How to Write While Working Full-Time

Posted January 24, 2017 by Amanda Shofner in Writing / 0 Comments

Trying to squeeze writing into your day when you work full-time is tough. I know because it’s my constant battle. But here are a few easy steps you can take to win the epic fight. (Or you know, just write.)

1. Get intimate with your schedule

Learn it. Get a feel for it. When you understand how your day and week flow, you’ll be able to learn where you have natural free time—even if it’s as simple as fifteen minutes on the bus—or where you can make room for writing.

2. Don’t be afraid to experiment with time and place

Stop saying “I can only write when…” I mean, unless your goal is to NOT write. Try writing at night. Or in the morning. Try writing at work on your lunch break. Or dictate your book while you walk the dog.

The point is, try. You might find a way to sneak writing in that you hadn’t considered before.

3. Reduce the number of decisions you make

In other words, get comfortable with planning ahead.

I lay out my clothes the night before rather than stare at my closet for five minutes every morning. I make egg muffins to eat for breakfast and plan out lunches for the week. You could even plan your dinners, too. (I’m still working toward that lofty goal.)

Even though it takes time and effort to put all those in place, it taxes my brain less during the week, so my creative energy reserves gets less low. Win-win.

4. Practice self-care

Seriously. SERIOUSLY. If you heed nothing else, heed this: take care of yourself. If you’re tired and burnt out, your writing will suffer. When your creative tank is low, find ways to top it off.

Let me repeat: if you don’t take care of yourself, every other point on this list so far is useless. Self-care differs for every individual, so figure out what it means for you.

Read a book, take an Epsom salt bath, go for a walk, surround yourself with puppies all day, take a spa day. Give yourself something—even if it’s small—every day and take care of yourself.

5. Be forgiving

You probably won’t get to accomplish everything you set out to do. And that’s okay. Do what you can when you can. The more you get down on yourself for not accomplishing something, the more negative energy you bring to your next writing session. Forgive yourself instead. Realize that life happens—you can and will get back to writing when you can.

Check your beliefs occasionally too—maybe what you tell yourself is holding you back.

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