1. Alex R. Encomienda
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    Alex R. Encomienda Active Member

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    Writers! How do you balance your writing with work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alex R. Encomienda, May 24, 2016.

    Well, my more precise question is how do you find time to write if you have such a demanding schedule outside of your passion?

    For those of you who have not been rewarded yet and are still working while trying to finish your WIP's, how involved are you with your writing?

    I myself am a physical therapy student approaching externship so my day is filled with medical terms and when I get home I have to get in that "mode" and get really deep into the mood of the story but oftentimes I only get to write a few paragraphs a night!
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not so well lately. I can't put the writing away to take care of anything else. I do post on the forum while I'm writing. But I can't get anything else done.
     
  3. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    To be honest, I wrote most of my WIP at work...
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When I was working, I would get up at 4am and get to the office early. Those were the days when I couldn't afford my own computer or printer, so I used the ones at work. I'd get about three hours of writing done per day, before anybody else would show up at the office.

    Nowadays, I'm retired! (Woohoo!) So there should be lots of time available! But my roomie has health problems (he's in a wheelchair), and they take up a lot of my time, so I still don't get to write as much as I'd like to.
     
  5. Myths
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    Myths Member

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    Honestly, I have a hard time finding the balance too. I spend my free time (when I'm not out working) writing for my blogs, and all but a couple of hours on my weekends writing my book. Every few weeks I do some editing for a friend too. My life is nothing but writing, but getting even a few paragraphs done a night is still progress. You should be proud of that :) There are days where i only get a few sentences written.
     
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  6. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know this isn't going to help, but...

    I never found a way. I tried writing in the evening, but after a day of work, I was too mentally and emotionally exhausted. So, I switched it around. I started going to bed early, getting up early to write, but I kept falling asleep at work.

    The only times I've ever been able to write and give it the attention it deserved was while I was unemployed... but only when there was no pressure to find another job.

    And so I come to retirement and finally I can do it.
     
  7. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Pretty much a carbon copy of @Sack-a-Doo!. I'd say get round it by writing in shorter sharper stints. But I don't :meh: From experience there's an inertia to be overcome to get going; if I'm starting something new it'll be prepping and outlining, if I'm continuing something it'll be recapping and settling into frame of mind, if it's researching/refining/revising something there's a time overhead in tracking down source material and also a mental zone to be in when doing that too.

    And so come retirement I hope I have the drive and faculties to commit to day long sessions in the writer's shed and seriously up my output.

    I'd be interested to hear from any retirees on here who have maybe realised this assumed Nirvana. ?? Maybe put me straight.
     
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  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Hahahahahahaahahahaha!

    I work night audit in a dirt bag motel. My job entails making sure that no one is smoking pot in their rooms and setting out breakfast.

    The boss straight doesn't give a fuck what I do on my down time, so as long as the bank balances I can put down between 1,000 and 1,500 words a night.
     
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  9. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well... Nirvana? Okay, we'll get to that in a moment.

    But it did take me almost four years after retiring to get my ass in the chair for the first 'serious' writing session. At first I tried to pick up 3D animation again and got lots of acting gigs, then it was, "Oh, I've got these things that need to be done," followed by, "I don't really need to write any more," and right on the heels of that: depression. It was the depression that convinced me to write again. It's pretty much the only cure for me.

    Most days (weekdays that is) I drag my ass out of bed, blear my way through coffee and morning exercise, then get into an argument with myself about whether or not I'll be writing that day. Most days, I lose this argument and end up—sulking and whining—in the chair.

    Oh, and the Nirvana part? That comes after the day's writing is done and I think: My, my, what great stuff I've written today, thus proving that Frank Norris was right. Writers don't want to write; they wants to have written.
     
  10. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    If a pen could be double-edged then your story there would have been written by it. What I'm taking away from such a candid chronicle is to NOT let the procrastinator/gloom siren in me rule/lure away my days, to intersperse shorts between the novels (for a regular dose of 'have written') and to treat myself (with retirement golden goodbye) to a way more comfortable, sumptuous and 'want to be sat in' chair than my seasoned ass will deserve.

    Appreciated @Sack-a-Doo!
     
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  11. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I said all that??

    Okay... Um... yeah. That's what I meant. Especially the chair part (It's tougher than you might think, though).
     
  12. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Hm. Every single day I swear to myself that I am going to be more sensible and sleep enough. But I still stand up at 0400 when the alarm goes off to answer emails, and write till I go to work. At work.. well my backbrain can still listen to music and that's sometimes when the best ideas come (like today :D). To be written down after work.

    Going to sleep early is still a bitch, because I don't want to. When I am writing then I write and don't want to interrupt. But I know that if I don't lie down at latest 2200 I can't get up at 0400, so I shut down the computer between 2100 and 2200.
     
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  13. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    With the down economy here, I have a lot of time in work to beta read and work on my outline. I imagine I could do my Wip here, but too many distractions. I am usually here on the forums during long downtimes.
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    In addition to me having a demanding career - managing a corporate tax department - my wife and I raised two children with developmental disabilities. This meant doing a lot of advocacy work, dealing with behaviors, coaching soccer and doing a lot of volunteer work. Mostly, I tried to do with less sleep so I'd have time to write, but there were long stretches when there just wasn't time and other things had to come first. When that happened, I just accepted it. In my last 6 years of working, I was fortunate to have a job in which I was able to work from home a lot and the lines between work time and writing time became (ahem) blurred. At the same time, the work itself was much less demanding and did not intrude on writing time at all.

    Like @minstrel and @Sack-a-Doo!, I am now retired. I had heard that once I retired, I would have so much to do that I'd wonder how I ever got any work done. I have found this to be largely true, mostly because my advocacy and volunteer work immediately claimed more time. But one adult child has lived in a group home for several years and the other works during the day and will soon be moving into a supportive apartment. My wife is still working, so the house is MINE during the day, and I can now devote a substantial amount of time to pitching/querying my completed novel and starting work on another.
     
  15. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lovely, ain't it? :)
     
  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    (glances around to make sure no one else is here :unsure:) Absolutely. But I have to enjoy it while I can, since she is retiring at the end of November (glances around again :whistle::whistle:).
     
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  17. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Three strategies:

    Make more time - not actually possible, of course, but what can you give up in order to have more time for writing? TV? Socializing? Messing around on the internet (including writing sites)... whatever. Drop something else in order to have more time for writing.

    Use every bit of time - even if you can't actually write, you can daydream about your plot and characters in a lot of different settings. Commuting, showering, waiting to fall asleep, etc.

    Use your time well - this ties in with the previous point... if you've already got everything dreamed up, you can get a lot typed in just half-an-hour of writing time. If you spend that whole half-hour trying to decide what to write, you won't achieve much.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
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  18. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    Nine-to-Fiver here. When I get home, I allot two hours of writing time and stick to it. To loosen me up and prime myself, I read the previous day's writing and edit. Once done, I do a six minute free-writing session where I just pour out all of my thoughts even if they're ridiculous or incoherent. After that, I write. I give myself twenty-five minute chunks of full on writing and then five minutes of rest. I do this until my two hour allotted time is finished.
     
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  19. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    I've having an awful time trying to prioritize writing, and the many writery goals I have and seem to be adding.

    If anything, I'd say I am not coping well at all. The problem I have is that at any given moment that I am "writing" or learning to "write", I can actually be earning real money doing my day job. Currently, my work allows me to to define my hours completely, but the down side is that it is always with me. Which makes creativity coupled with guilt at all times, the constant thinking: I could be doing 'real' work right now and my time is worth X amount of dollars.

    So I'm always feeling behind on all things.

    I've seriously mentioned to hubby that he might need to net nanny me. Unfortunately, I'm torn because I get a lot of inspiration from interacting with people on the net as well. But at some point, I'm going to need to finish my real work and go totally silent away from net noise.

    The other problem I have is that I work best under pressure. So I have to wonder, if I had all the time in the world, would I actually get anything done...
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
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  20. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I get up at 6am, write for an hour. When the kiddies are in bed for the night I write until bedtime between 930 and 1000. I average 1k words per day in this fashion. I don't do anything else, though. If I'm not working, parenting, or eating, I write. Every other weekend I go diving, but otherwise, that's it. Writing consumes my free time. It's the only way I can finish WIPs
     
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  21. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I couldn't find a button for this, so...

    LOL!
     
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  22. tumblingdice
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    tumblingdice Member

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    It's hell. I work part time during the afternoon but I have insomnia, so I either a)get a few hours of sleep, in which case I'm too tired to write or b)I oversleep and don't have enough hours to write.

    Sundays are my day off, so that's when I write literally all day. If only all days could be Sunday...

    Btw, does anyone else daydream about their stories/characters/whatever during working hours? I know it's awfully unethical, but I can't help myself :D. Sometimes I get the best ideas when I'm at work and I just have to write them down.
     
  23. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    I struggle to find time the same as anyone else. I think about plot/characters/setting/motive/dialogue - anything - as much as I can at work, then on my drive home I dictate it all on a digital voice recorder. This way I get twice as much writing done when I'm at home and in double the time. Result. But then I still struggle to find the time to get twice as much done and in double the time :confuzled:
     
  24. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I had a job mowing lawns at the zoo in Calgary, my mind would wander off to write music while I hauled the mower around. It wasn't always the best idea, though. Madam Gorilla almost got my hardhat one day because I wasn't paying attention.

    I made it a hard-n-fast rule never to ever let my mind wander while mowing around the tiger cages. There were stories.
     
  25. KokoN
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    KokoN Active Member

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    I don't have that much time to write between my full time job, my online summer class, and taking care of my mom (who has chronic health issues). However I still do find time to write what little I can. My current goal is 2k words a week which isn't much but is still something. For me it is a fun hobby and won't turn into more than that even if I do get published. I'm going to be a teacher so I'll have summers/holidays off so when I'm not writing lesson plans I can be writing my stories. :) However I would never want to quit teaching to become a full-time writer. I prefer it as an enjoyable hobby, personally.
     
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