Writing can be hard to fit in to your day, and many creatives are prone to procrastination. But sometimes the excuses are valid; work, school, children, housework…these are all things that need to be done.
I started a new job 2 weeks ago, and the past fortnight has been mostly focused on settling in there, doing some overtime, and filling the evenings with my uni work. So I’m scrabbling around day to day trying to find ways to fit writing around my job. Here are some suggestions for anyone else struggling with this balance:
Write on your commute
How long does it take you to get to work? If you have a commute, that doesn’t involve driving of course (!), you can use that time to write. If you go by bus or train, pull out a notebook and scribble down some ideas. It might not be much, but every little helps.
Write in your break
This has been my main go-to. During my break I take to the staff room and put pen to paper. Not only is it a nice rest and reprieve from my work, but it helps build up my story, bit by bit. If you’re able to snatch half an hour of quiet during your day, it may be the ideal time to get some words down.
Use it as inspiration
Ideas are just as important to writers as putting words on a page. Use your work place as a hive of inspiration. Think of the people you meet, the way your job makes you feel, the things you overhear and the lessons you learn. All of this can be put to use in writing to create settings and characters and dialogue that is authentic and genuine.
Wake up earlier
Yep, I said it, you may not like this one! But waking up earlier is a commitment worth making if it helps you find time to write. There’s lots of great social media support in the writing community, with #5amwritersclub and #6amwritersclub hashtags on twitter. You’ll find other writers forcing themselves to peel back heavy eyelids and sip on strong coffee to get the words flowing first thing. It also means that if you come home from work feeling exhausted, you know you’ve already gotten ahead with your writing for the day.
Make the most of your days off
Of course, there’s this too. Unless you work seven days a week (and I don’t recommend it!) you’ll have days off to catch up on things. I know this doesn’t mean you have unlimited writing time on these days. You’ll also use this time to see friends and family, to complete household chores, to go out and have fun. But setting aside even an hour or two on your days off will make a huge different. And making writing a habit in this why is vital.
How do you fit writing into your busy life? Share your tips and ideas below.