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Holding a full-time job while trying to be a writer


Myth Weaver
Kids, holidays, work... oh yeah, home schooling... lucky to get in any editing edgewise let alone fresh writing. I've gotten stuck recently because the editor wanted a cavern chapter more visibile and vivid, and although I agree completely, it sent me into another writing dark place... mapping and cave research! Oh, those are the sorts of things I can get lost in, LOL.

It's hard quitting video games, lol. I have finally...finally...gotten to the point where I choose to clean/write extra/do something productive whenever I get the urge to game. I've been more productive lately, which is great, but I miss the fun, too. But everytime I give in, I realize what a waste of time it is.

I did finally quit Facebook though. Woop! Still have Pinterest but I use it for my story boards (platform) and am only on it a couple times a week.

Also, parenting is a full-time job. So, if you have kids + work then really, you have two full-time jobs. My kid is 9 and going through a clingy faze. I've stopped questioning and started accepting. We make it work. Lol.
I know the pain. I just started a full time job, which often turns more than full time, and it's tough to find time to write. I stare at a screen all day, read some hard to understand crap, write a bunch of stuff that requires the utmost precision, and when I get hone play with a rowdy two year old. It's rough. I'm having a hard time adjusting. But I've found that just getting in the habit of writing everyday helps. Also, I've had to cut just about everything on writing related. I haven't bought a game in 5 years. I haven't played seriously in that same time frame. I don't watch a lot of tv. I just read for the most part.

One specific strategy that helps is to manage my writing in six minute increments, ten equals a billable hour. I tell myself I can't read until I write for one billable hour at least. You get real productive real quick like that.
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I was a welder for several years and found that being under that helmet and closed off from other outside stimuli was very productive. Creatively anyway. Maybe buy a cheap voice recorder and while your hand are doing menial tasks just let your mind wander. When bathroom break or lunch break comes around make voice notes. Tell that creative spark to come to you when you can jot it down or record it. In no time you'll have plenty of material. By then, you'll have something to actually flesh out into your story when you can sit down to write.

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I usually keep notes either on paper or through an app while at work. Sometimes if I have a spare moment I'll write down something that just can't wait, but my job allows for something like that.

I'm an avid gamer as well, so when I get home I know the constant struggle that comes with coming home from work and then sitting down at a computer to only get distracted chatting with guildmates or playing a video game. Really it's about self-discipline more than it is about anything else, so you just need to force yourself to make time for it to the exclusion of other negotiable activities even if its only for 5 minutes. It's similar to the advice given to people just starting to exercise: Even if you only do it for 5 minutes that's still 5 minutes more than the guy sitting on the couch.


Hahahha... I am crying and laughing in pure understanding here in front of my computer...
I have been unable to write anything since mid-November... It can be frustrating as hell!!! Life has been a bit of a A-hole not sparing much time for writing, but I still am madly in love it life! ;)

So like I mentioned I have had so little time to write and when the time was there I was so mentally drained that trying to write was an impossible task. I could not wrap my head around the plot, the characters or words for that matter, so I had to force myself to stop beating myself up for NOT writing. I think that is one of the things every writer has to do, when you have family, job and life to actually live and all that comes with it, give yourself a break, you are human and you can not do everything, all the time...

I have a night-shift job and can/could write during that time but when I am mentally not capable to do that, I often get irritated with the fact I wasted the opportunity, when I began giving myself a break and reminding myself that I will just write when I am able to do so and not force something that was not there. I began writing more of the story in my head when I went to bed, it felt like the only time I had to continue my story and I would fall asleep writing the story like that.
As I did this, I all of the sudden found the answer I had been searching for how to bring some ideas together in the story that I wanted to do but just was not able to make it fit correctly together, such things, I write down in my notebook and continue the development of the story and ideas in my head and add them in the notebook.
The best part is that now I do not feel as drained and actually can continue to write my story.

So, I would say, find your way to continue even if it is just a small thing, thinking about it as you fall a sleep or write notes in a notebook or whatever you find comfortable and give yourself a break, life is worth living and it will give you inspiration and experience... I guess what I am trying to say is, believe that you will tell your story, regardless of the time frame.


Myth Weaver

I quit video games years and years ago, and dont watch much TV. I have always wanted to work the night shift, but never found a way to do it and get paid what I like in my profession. I am not sure if my current job is my last, or if I will change one more time, but maybe next time it will be nights only. As it is, I have a full time job, which so far is not demanding. I am sort of moonlighting, working a second job, which is irregular, but has been close to another full time job of late. My writing time is from about 12:00-1:00am. Sometimes 2:00. And I am getting 500-700 words at each go.

Part of my day job is a long drive, and I use that to think on the scenes I will tackle that night. My only promise/strategy is to write one sentence a night, and its been working out well. So far, I've not missed a night in months.

I find I cannot really write at other times, I need to know minimally that I can be somewhere and know I will not be interrupted. That does not happen at work. At work, I just work on marketing stuff, or other aspects, if I feel I can do it and not draw attention. I actually do not like not being busy. They could work me harder.

Anyway...700 a night in about an hours effort, leads to 255K words a year. I shoot for 100k or more for a novel, so that could be 2 a year (minus the editing).

If I could switch to waking up at 2:00, writing to 6:00 and then going to work, I might be on time more. I am habitually late to everything. I am not happy about that. But I have books written. Most people cannot say that, so....
Fortunately, I'm working in game dev. It's a very pleasant job but low pay. But after the job I've got a lot of strength and time to construct my story.


It's even more fun when you also have kids with the full time job. That's double the full time. Good thing I love my kids and my job. Also it doesn't help that I am a slow writer, but I did manage to finish two drafts of a novella last year and I should finish a first draft of another longer one this year. I cannot complain though, my job does allow for writing time while I am at work when it is not busy.


Myth Weaver
Well...kids is the reason there is like an 18 year gap in my writing.

When my son got old enough to have his own room, I gave up my writing space, and just never found a good solution. Now the youngest one is looking to go to college, and the other has already moved out...thus...writing again.