The common belief these days is that you can’t hold down a day job and become a published (or self-published) author. If you want to be a writer, you are supposed to give all of your focus and energy to writing, which is supposed to take up so much time that it is impossible to have a day job and keep it while you’re doing it. Don’t let this common belief stop you from becoming the writer you’re meant to be. Of course, the tips we’ve gathered below are not miracle formulas, and be prepared to get to your goal (writing and publishing while having a day job) through a lot of trial and error, and the occasional exhaustion while needing to be determined and motivated. Just remember that it can be done and that there are plenty of authors and bloggers that are already doing it.
1. Plan time for writing
A writer should plan time for writing during the day even if they don’t have a day job. Plenty of free time doesn’t equal plenty of writing – it might just equal a lot of procrastination. Having a day job might actually help that. For example, if you can only squeeze in two hours of free time for writing, you don’t have the time to procrastinate, unless your wish is to never publish anything. During the allocated writing time you’ve given yourself, you must remember that what you’re doing is building a habit of daily writing, even if what you’re actually writing today might never be published.
2. Write on the job
Depending on the type of job you have and how much you have to focus on the task at hand while you’re at work, you can use the time when you are, relatively speaking, free to brainstorm ideas, or even work out the plot of your novel. You can do this at any time, really, when you are waiting for the bus, for example, or riding on a train to work. Analyze your day and see whether you can find pockets of time where you can use your creativity and think of ideas, sentences, places and plot-related events which you can write about later.
3. Prioritize your activities
One thing you should be prepared for is to sacrifice some of your hobbies and free time to dedicate it to writing. If your allocated writing time interferes with the time when you usually go to the gym, or have another activity planned, consider changing the hour when you do the activity, and lessen the time you spend on it. Remember that you’re sacrificing the hobby for writing and that if you didn’t, it would be the other way around – you would be sacrificing quality writing time for a hobby. Additionally, you must allocate time where you will focus on the other aspects of becoming a published writer – the marketing, building your online presence, maybe even blogging – and you must prioritize these activities if you want to build a successful writing business.
4. Organize your days
As mentioned above, you need to be prepared for a lot of trial and error, especially during the initial period when you’ll still be getting used to your new schedule. And yes, it is important to make a schedule, instead of writing only when you feel inspired. A good schedule will help you keep on track not only of your writing time, hobbies, day job, and other publishing duties; it will also lessen the amount of stress which is bound to build up if you find yourself not having enough time. Be sure to constantly analyze your schedule and see where you can improve it.
5. Plan a day off
You get days off on your day job, and you should plan a day off of writing and publishing-related activities as well. Otherwise, you will stop enjoying the act of writing. You would need a day off of writing even if you didn’t have a day job that took up a lot of your time, because when you’re writing, you need a lot of focus. You might not be doing a physically difficult task, but you are doing a task that asks a lot of concentration from your mind. A day off will help you recharge your batteries, and focus only on yourself, which is why it’s actually a good idea to combine days off of your daily job with the day off of writing. This also ensures that you will build the habit of working alongside writing more easily than if you chose not to combine the days off.
Image credit: Pixabay [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.