How To Fit Writing Around Your Full Time Job

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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How do you fit writing into your busy life? Share your tips and ideas below.

Until then,
Keep writing,

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25 thoughts on “How To Fit Writing Around Your Full Time Job”

  1. In my experience, the only way to get any writing done when you work full time is to get up early and write first thing, and/or commit to writing *something* everyday, even if it’s just for ten minutes during your lunch break. Great tips, Meelie, and congrats again on the new job 😊.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love these tips!
    Trying to find time to write is something that I struggle with every day haha. When I lived farther from work, I found it helpful to write on my commute, even if it was just 200-300 words it was better than nothing! When work was a bit more relaxed and I was able to have a lunch break, I used to do a bit of mid-day writing too. Now I wake up early to get an hour of writing done before work starts, which I really enjoy πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Useful tips here.
    I’m trying to get into dictation at the moment, using a mic attached to my collar to talk into my phone while driving to work (it’s early morning, so hardly any other traffic around.)
    Something I’ve found great is time waiting for the kids’ various activities – drive them there, sit in the car (or a cafe) with my laptop while they play football or whatever, then take them home. Can add up to a few hours over the week.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I find that my writing only gets better when I’m out working and living life. I’ll find inspiration for characters through people watching, dialogue through overhearing conversations, etc. Carrying a notebook everywhere helps, as it’s in the most random places that I’ll think up my ideas!
    Love these tips – so accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am sure these tips can do wonders for many people, just not for me.

    I drive to/from work for an hour each way. No can do. I see someone mentioned dictation and I did think about it, but I don’t have special equipment and the simple app I have is less than ideal for dictations longer than a few words. I don’t want to spend a whole day editing a few lines.

    Waking up early just makes me crabby – sure way to make me hate writing.

    Days off seem to be busier than workdays.

    And my break needs to be a break. Because I use my brain a lot at work, I need some time off during the day to refresh it. If I was to keep writing, I would burn my brain out.

    You did mention the golden solution, though. Making a habit out of writing. It’s worked wonders for me. I tried writing at the same time every day. It works for a little while, but I cannot keep it up for an extended period of time. Maybe one day… I am still trying. I have a schedule on my blog, and I choose to adhere to it, making my writing some sort of a habit.

    Growing up, one of my few allowed pastimes was staring at a wall. To this day, it benefits me in a multitude of ways (mental health). I like taking naps, too. SO what I do is combine the two – I lay down and think of creative stuff leisurely. I have a notebook nearby and so whenever I think of something, I write it down. Even if it’s just an idea, a phrase, a sentence. I can then write it out when I have more time but ideas are lacking.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve committed to waking up at 5am and writing for an hour each weekday. I’ve also started carrying around a notebook to jot down ideas during the day. When I’m feeling particularly inspired, I copy down my last sentence in my notebook in case I want to continue writing during odd moments throughout the day. I’ve yet to actually ‘write’ at the weekends, but I’m still usually thinking about my story, coming up with ideas for roadblocks I’ve come across or reading books on writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent tips! I live in California, and we’re going through prolonged power shutdowns due to the wildfires. I’m finding plenty of time for reading and writing lately.😎

    Liked by 1 person

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