Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WORKING FULL TIME AND FINDING TIME TO WRITE

This might sound like a mediocre problem but I assure you it is a very serious problem and it has been a great source of frustration for me the past few months. I feel drawn to one field of interest while I am forced to do another. And let's face it, we as writers need to work even if we wish we could write full time.

So I have compiled a list of things that I try to keep in mind when having a panic attack:

Give yourself some time to adjust to your work schedule. It took me a month to get into the groove of things and sometimes I am still too tired to write.

Take it slow and just remember not to worry about things beyond your control.

Don't try to force the inspiration when it is lacking.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing is taking a break from writing. That is truly the quickest way for me to get back into things full swing.

When you need that break, take it. I found it hard walking away from a project for a few days but when I came back I was more eager to finish it then I was before.

Work out a writing schedule. I know many writers don't like this approach but just allocate some time for writing and stick to it. I tell myself that on weekdays from 20:00 PM-21:00 PM is my writing time, whether I use it for blogging, editing or writing, that is my allocated writing time. On weekends I edit every minute of my spare time. Some days it is 5-6 hours other days it is 3-4 hours.

Keep a pen and paper handy to write down ideas. Whether you are in a meeting and an idea for a brilliant scene pops in your head, write it down. I write my ideas in an email and mail it home.

Get enough sleep. I know that there is just not enough time for everything in one day but being overly tired only messes with your sleeping pattern and on the long term it is counter productive because the worst thing you can do, is over exercise your brain. And I know it sounds stupid but get enough sleep.

Try not to get ahead of yourself. I am guilty of this myself. The writing and editing process is not a race. If it takes months to edit then deal with it. Don't worry about the submissions of your manuscript until it is time to worry about them. Just focus on the actual writing or editing of your manuscript.

Be positive and believe in yourself. I know this sounds phony but believe it or not it is important. At times I feel like I just want to cry out of frustration. I want so badly to just write but then I have to smile at work and pretend to be the happiest person in the world. It is easy to lose faith in yourself and in your dreams, but keep at it. When it gets hard keep pushing through. Wanting to be a published writer is not an easy thing. But if it is what you really want then you have to persevere.

So that is my list. I keep a printed copy of these suggestions with me at all times. When I am having a hissy fit I tell myself to shut up and read the list. And I struggle everyday to maintain a balance and to fit everything in. Of course there are other writers who don't struggle to find balance. I am happy for those writers but unfortunately I am not one of them.

So , back to work for me and happy writing to everybody else.

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