WHERE I'M AT SINCE MY LAST POST
July was a good month for me in terms of both writing and editing!
I passed 8K words on my current WIP and I am feeling really good about this story. My characters aren't following my outline which is driving me insane, but I don't disagree with direction they are taking so I can't complain too much.
I am currently on deadline to give my next book to my editor by October so I am arms deep into edits! I shared a little bit about the book with my newsletter subscribers, so if you'd like to be the first to know things and get exclusive content, be sure to subscribe here!
WHAT YOU CAME FOR: 6 TIPS ON WRITING WITH A FULL-TIME JOB
I’ve wanted to write this post for some time now. I’ve been juggling writing with a full-time (7am-4pm) job for three years now and have finally figured out what works for me.
When I was in high school and college, I wrote during winter breaks, spring breaks, and summer breaks with a few weekends sprinkled in there.
But now, life doesn't have those breaks. Now, life is 40-45 hour work weeks with various plans on the weekends and when I take off work for a planned vacation I don’t want to spend it writing.
So. How does one still find time to write?
Here are my six tips for writing with a full-time job:
MAKE YOURSELF A PROMISE AND DON'T BREAK IT. If you promise yourself you will wake up an hour earlier before work to write. Do it. If you promise yourself you will dedicate three days a week after work where you lock yourself with your computer from 5-8pm. Do it. You HAVE to treat your writing time as sacred and important. Don’t make plans during your writing time and push it to a different day. Think of it as an appointment you can’t cancel and will have to pay a fee if you do.
LUNCH BREAK SPRINTS. I get an hour lunch break every day and I use four of my five lunch breaks for writing. I get around 1000 to 1200 words down on a good day. I try to get at least one scene done. The bulk of my last WIP was written on my lunch breaks and i have now decided it’s my best time slot to get my writing done for future projects. My suggestion is if you work on a computer, have a Google doc of your outline and a Google doc titled lunch break writing. Choose what you plan on writing that day in the morning and listen to your WIP music playlist for the first part of the day to get the creative juices flowing. This routine sets me up nicely so I’m not wasting any of my hour to think about what to write.
DO NANOWRIMO. Even if you fail every year like me. Real talk: I have attempted NanoWriMo three times and have never won. Last year I was thinking about not even trying, but then I shifted my mindset and managed to write 12,000 words. That’s 12,000 words of my WIP more than what I had before November and even though that’s all I could do, I kept writing and finished the first draft at the end of December. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get a full 50,000 words in 30 days but it pushes me to get SOME words down and with all of life’s commitments, that’s all I want.
SET UP A WRITING MARATHON / RETREAT. A writing marathon is a similar concept to Nano in that you are trying to get a lot of words down in a short span of time. Whether you go away for a weekend and dedicate it to writing or just spend the entire weekend at home and tell your family to not disturb you unless the house is on fire, a writing retreat is a great way to recharge and focus.
SUPPORTIVE FAMILY AND FRIENDS. If you are committed to writing, make sure your family understands and respects that. You need the emotional support. When I’m on a deadline, I tell my husband and keep him in the loop with how my writing is going. He knows how important it is to me, so much so that if he sees me slacking off when I should be writing, he turns off the tv or takes my phone away and tells me to go write. I whine and go reluctantly but in hindsight I love him so much for it.
FIND FRIENDS OF THE CRAFT. We all need a writing buddy that understands when we say our characters won’t stop talking to us and rebelled against our outline. Go write together. Plan a day where you sit at a coffee shop and work on your writing. Join a live sprint on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when someone else is writing too.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS:
When do you find time to write? What are some of your tips for getting the words down? I'd love to know!
I'm Alia. A writer, reader, traveler, dreamer, and to do list maker. You'll find a little bit of it all here.