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Work is killing my writing buzz

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by kinslayeur, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. kinslayeur

    kinslayeur Scribe

    So my shift and everything changed. I was working hourly up until this past week and then moved into salary (not bad, but hang on).... now I work 5-6 days a week 10-12 hours a day and am not getting much writing done. I try to have an hour for writing at the end of the day, but I'm finding I'm more exhausted than anything else and so I put writing off.

    Anyone else have this happen where work or other obligations are completely killing your mojo?
  2. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

    Well, until writing becomes my day job, which it isnt, im gonna have to live with some dead mojo. Yes, it gets in the way a lot and it gets worse the more responsibility you get but seems like a part of life to me. When i better answer i'll share.
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I never had your work schedule, but for years I wrote primarily on breaks and at lunch. Carried pen and paper with me everywhere, then typed it up at night. It's a lousy way to work and I think I developed some bad habits (hard to say, as I was also a noob), but it was the only way I could keep going forward.

    (50-60 hrs a week? On salary? They'd better be paying you a ton of money because that just ain't right. Workers of the world, unite!)
  4. Recent attorney, father of a two year old and an infant. I feel you. Best suggestion is that you just need to write when you can and build up the ability to write even when exhausted.
  5. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    Try getting up an hour or two earlier than you currently do, and write before you go to work.

    I made that change about a year and a half ago and it was the best thing I could've done. My mind is fresh for writing, and I have that daily progress toward my dream completed before I step out for the work day.

    It feels good to know you've accomplished your creative goals while your out doing the job that pays the bills. An added bonus... because I wasn't sitting down to write in a state of exhaustion, my productivity almost tripled.
  6. kinslayeur

    kinslayeur Scribe

    I am up at 6am and work until either 4pm or 6pm depending on what is happening at work. By then, I'm usually exhausted and get home to make dinner, do homework and around that time it's 8-9pm. I will see about staying up until 10pm to see if I can write.
  7. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    Yes. I know it's hard.

    I get up at 5AM every day, just so I can write before my kids get up & I have to go to work.

    You can train yourself to be creative & productive at a certain time, but it takes desire & discipline. Your decision is nothing more than making writing a priority, or not. If rest is your priority at this stage in your life, there's nothing wrong with that, but recognize that you're making a choice. It's always a choice.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  8. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    I jammed a shaft of steel a couple inches into my left hand, that's been a buzz/typing kill, heh heh.

    My story is I fought off a pack of marauders, and like Inigo Montoya, I fought them left handed so it would be more fair, hence the rapier wound to my left hand. It sounds better than the truth, anyhow, LOL.

    And waking up 4 days a week at 4:30 am makes things a tad tricky. But if I wasn't up for a challenge, I would've dueled the marauders right handed.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  9. FifthView

    FifthView Vala

    Sometimes for me, it's about leaving the television off, allowing myself to eat dinner in front of the computer screen.

    One problem is the feeling that I need to be "in the zone" to punch the keyboard in some manner approaching creativity. But waiting for those moments of zen is not a great method.
  10. Russ

    Russ Istar

    It can be hard, but excuses and obstacles won't get your book done.

    You might want to learn to write exhausted. Hopefully after some time at your new schedule you will feel less tired as you get used to it.

    I get up at five and will be at the gym or the office by six. I work until six. I also work six days a week most weeks. I still have plenty of energy and time for socializing and other projects.

    There are lots of very successful authors that work a lot of hours and still managed to finish, sell and market very successful books.
  11. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    I'm sorry, OP. The best advice I can give you is to get plenty of rest because without it, creativity mojo is bust. Eat well. Drink lots of water. EXERCISE. Sleep on a normal schedule. Can you write for even 15 mins per day on your lunch break? Do you commute on a train or bus? Or maybe instead of watching television sneak in that time to write? Your schedule sounds tiring without even writing included, but such is life.

    My situation is very different but life always gets in the way. I've been working from home since August 2015 and what I earn highly depends on how many words I'm able to produce and publish (did ghostwriting for a while there, too). We live in a tiny cabin of 900 sq ft and the computer area is reserved into a corner of the living room. After all this time, it's still difficult for my family to understand that when I'm out here typing it isn't to kill time. It's to make money and I work long hours doing this. Plus there's our son to take care of, housework duties of which there are plenty, and errands, and etc. There are days when I'm so busy taking care of everyone and everything else that I only get a limited amount of time to write. The words ALWAYS come first but being Indie published means that I have to commission covers, write blurbs, market, update websites, format books, edit books, schedule editing and beta reading time over 2 (was 3) pen names.

    Writing for money is the hardest job I've ever had in my life. It's also the most rewarding and fulfilling and funnest one. But it's not easy on this side of the fence either. Shit happens. For example, this past winter, we had a crisis in our family that sucked 3 months out of my publishing schedule. All of my books are behind and my KDP wave is riding to a small little blip. I need to publish again like hella fast. This is where rubber meets the road. Writing books is hard ****ing work that no one respects. SO take charge of your time. Children and spouses and family should always come first. Your health should come first. Aside of that, tv can get X'd out. Video games and all sorts of time killing shit can also go. To finish a book, which seems like a chore with your work schedule, get serious about your time management and cut whatever isn't going to help you get to the end.

    You can do this. There is no author or writer out there with a perfect schedule that I have yet met. Everyone has bullshit come up in their lives from time to time, and work, and family obligations, etc. Good luck. :)
    kinslayeur likes this.
  12. kinslayeur

    kinslayeur Scribe

    Thanks Chessie!

    I work from home (have since 2014) and up to this point I have been able to find a good balance with work, school and writing. However, since going from hourly to salary and my schedule change, I just haven't been able to find a solid balance that works. I just don't want to go cold on my writing and lose the good mojo I have going. Just finding a new balance is key. Good thing for me is I don't watch tv or movies, so no problems there at all.
  13. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    Life will always get in the way. I find it's toughest when there's a change in routine. But when the new schedule becomes the new routine that's when things start to get better. How long that takes can vary, but what's important for me is to just keep chugging along, figure out what fits and what doesn't in the new routine.

    I don't like to reveal too much about myself and this is going to sound waaaay more dramatic than it is, but life changes in the last couple of years have made it so that about half the writing I do I do while sitting next to a hospital bed. On top of that I have to keep one eye on what the person in the bed is doing, with possible interruptions every minute or two. Sometimes I can only type with my left hand because my right is holding another's hand.

    It was almost impossible to write like this at first, but now, it's part of what's normal. I learned to deal. I put one word after the other and eventually there's a sentence. Put enough of those together and there's a paragraph and so it goes until I have a finished story.

    I do what I have to do to get the writing in or I don't. It's as simple as that for me.
    T.Allen.Smith likes this.
  14. Addison

    Addison Auror

    Ironically, I got my writing mojo back on track once I got a salary job. Until then I was living at home, taking a break between school and job. I was typing or scribbling every day, but every day was 90% crap and 10% story. Once I got a job and got my frontal lobe working and observing real people in real situations I was able to filter out crap ideas and fill my imagination with real possibilities.

    My only problem was that I'd been spending so much time on one W.I.P that I got sick of it. Kinda like J.K Rowling with "Prisoner of Azkaban". I lost mojo in that story and every story. The bright side was I got to catch up on a bunch of reading. Prior to the ailment I wasn't reading that much because the stories I read had a tendency to bleed into my W.I.P, whether in tone or voice or even changing characters and setting. Now I'm changing to working on different stories, short stories, novellas and different novels.

    What I've found is the key to keeping fresh and keeping the mojo going is finding 15 minutes every day to write. IT doesn't have to be working on the same story. Just find a prompt, set a timer, and go for it. Maybe you'll start a great story or it'll be a funny little project, but it works. Trust me, I did fifteen minutes on a Time Traveling Missing Person's Finder. It won't go farther than my computer, but it was fun and got my mojo going to work on a goal story.

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