Waddup Savi Crew!
Call it serendipitous, call it laziness—since I really didn’t know what the blog topic was going to be—call it whatever you want; this week in light of my recent employment (to the best job ever, I might add), I thought six tips on how pursue a writing career while balancing a full-time job would be helpful.
A quick disclaimer, my job is remote which means that I work from home. Thus, commuting time will not be a factor for me. Nevertheless, I will include tips for commute as I’m sure they will be relevant for one of my Savi crew members.
Tip #1 – Preparation Is The Key.
If you want to be a prolific writer, you’ve got to do the groundwork. Write out some scenes the night before so that when your work day is completed, you can pick up where you left off without having to stare at the blinking cursor as precious minutes go by. Also, try to capitalise on voice recorder apps since you may not always have a pen and paper on hand to document new ideas (learn that the hard way).
Tip #2 – Use Work As Inspiration (Tread lightly though).
Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean you can’t have advances with your WIP (Work In Progress). Beware, if you’re operating heavy machinery or your job requires meticulous concentration, for God’s sake, don’t daydream about your novel! If you have the type of job that’s a bit routine, monotonous or has dull periods, let that be the opportunity for inspiration to strike. Listen carefully, don’t get fired, telling your boss, “Sio told me to write at work”, do your job but look for moments where writing can take place. Don’t spend your entire lunch break stuffing your face, throw some writing in there. Trust me, every little bit helps and it all adds up in the end.
Tip #3 – Switch Apps Off, Switch Writing On.
Social media are time suckers so don’t get dragged into the Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube rabbitholes (take it from someone who’s been there). After work—especially a long, tough day—it’s tempting to sit in front of your television, computer or smartphone and lose yourself in Netflix’s marathons and video playlists. Take five minutes to decompress then commit to writing for at least an hour. Music is a great tool; it heals the stresses of your mind as well as provides triggers for novel ideas. Please check out my blog post on Novel Writing Playlists, if you missed it.
Tip #4 – Beware Of Procrastination Station.
As any good aspiring writer will tell you, when your creative mind pulls into procrastination station, it’s difficult to get that engine going again. Don’t get me wrong, life can get busy at times but be careful not to subconsciously provide excuses for yourself as to why your WIP can’t get written. Take action: Five hundred words today is five hundred words less tomorrow.
Tip #5 – Stick To A Morning Or Night Writing Routine.
Early bird or night owl, decide which routine is right for you and stick to it. Obviously, if you’re working the night shift for your job, I don’t expect you to be a night owl (perhaps an evening chicken, is that even a thing?) but most writers are either struck in the wee hours of the morning (6am and 12 noon) or the wee hours of the night (12am and 6am). See, the beauty of 24 hours is that you have everywhere in-between that is not being occupied by eating, sleeping, praying, working, bowel movements (it’s an important lifetime activity, okay?), grooming, etc. to write your book! Not sure where you fall? Try both but don’t force it, one way or another, it will reveal itself.
Tip #6 – Spend Your Commute Time Wisely.
When I worked a corporate job, I would sometimes spend up to two hours per day—coming and going—in traffic. Do you know how many hours that is? Seriously, I don’t know (Math was never my strong suit). But I can bet if I was to add up those hours over the past twenty years, the number would definitely be high. Are you a driver? Use your voice recorder and plot a scene as you make your way to work. Do you take public transportation? Sit with a pen and paper, look out the window and let your imagination run wild.
Next week, I will be writing the first in a three part series on “Writing Your Novel” in preparation for Camp NaNoWriMo in July. Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now.
And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life!