Saturday, October 10, 2009

Writing: My Second Job

As I have mentioned before, I am a teacher by trade. Much of my time during the week (and sometimes on the weekend) is focused on the various aspects of my profession, everything from grading to conducting email correspondence with students on whatever writing or literature assignment I give them to complete.

For the past year, I have asked myself where writing fits into the grand scheme of things. How can I produce a manuscript while working a fifty hour work week? This summer, I decided that since writing takes discipline, time, and energy - just like my "day" job - that I would think about my novel as a second job.

In doing so, the way I utilize my time has changed (for the better, I hope). For example, I know I cannot work on anything connected with my novel until after I have unwound from my paying job; therefore, most afternoons you'll find me cat-napping on my futon bed in my office. Once awake, I can sit down at my computer, or to a pen and paper, and write until my husband gets home. Then my focus shifts to him and spending time with him, before retreating to my office and getting back into my story.

Not every day is situated like this, but I now write nearly every day. Once nanowrimo is completed at the end of November, I hope to have the first draft of a new novel completed - and because of my "second job" schedule, I believe that one day my non-paying job will become a paying one.

So, how do you fit in your writing with your busy schedule? What do you have to do to put yourself into a writing frame of mind?


Andrea said...

I have an Alphasmart Neo (not a netbook like the cool kids) and I try to take that to work with me most days. I can get some writing done on the drive in (my husband and I commute together) and on breaks at the office.

As for putting myself in a writing frame of mind, I'm still working on that. If I'm out in public, it's easier. At home, I've come to accept that sitting on the couch just isn't going to work for me. I need a quiet space with no distractions.

Sheila said...

I actually have a post planned on that topic, so I'm not going to give it all away here. But I like the idea of looking at writing like a second job. That somehow makes it more of a mental priority to sit down and do it.

Shannon said...

First time posting here! The smallest things excite me.

For me writing is one of the ways I cope with my anxiety/depression. Most days the idea of being able to come home and write is what gets me thought the day. In between customers I'm scribbling notes in my personal shorthand for ideas for not only the fanfiction stories that I'm writing but the original novel I hope to create for nano this year.

I look at is also as a reward for the bs that the day throws at me and as my true calling (which I don't consider my day job).