Re: Writing while having a job

#1
Hi, sorry if I come off as whiny. Just want to get something off my chest. Recently, I have gotten a job and have been trying to balance my work life with my writing life, but it doesn't seem to be working very well. I'm not sure if it is writer's block or not. I mean, I think it kinda is. But with writer's block, it's kinda like you're stuck in your writing. I'm not really stuck, I'm just exhausted. After leaving work, I'm just too tired to write, but I also feel bad for not writing more. You guys ever feel the same way? Got any tips for me?

Re: Writing while having a job

#2

Cicada1317 Wrote: Hi, sorry if I come off as whiny. Just want to get something off my chest. Recently, I have gotten a job and have been trying to balance my work life with my writing life, but it doesn't seem to be working very well. I'm not sure if it is writer's block or not. I mean, I think it kinda is. But with writer's block, it's kinda like you're stuck in your writing. I'm not really stuck, I'm just exhausted. After leaving work, I'm just too tired to write, but I also feel bad for not writing more. You guys ever feel the same way? Got any tips for me?

Ah yeah, I know how it is.

Look, even when you don’t feel like writing, write something. What I would usually do after work, is take a shower, eat something, then I would lay down in bed, and write. Also, college student as well. I would make sure I am far ahead in my school work. This way, I can write with more ease. Over all though, just write something. Anything is better than nothing.

I should also mention, I write early in the morning, or late at night depending. I also write at times during school. Yeah, it is pretty easy for me most of the times. So, I free up some extra time that way.

Re: Writing while having a job

#3
Although I'm a university student, not a working adult. All these classes and papers leave little time for writing. I started writing in my 1st year but soon just vanished from the site, now 3.5years later I removed my fiction to alleviate some pressure that was eminating from it.
My point being, if you love writing you make some time for it, work is necessary but doing things you love is also necessary. That aside there's nothing wrong with only writing in weekends if you have a standard 9to5.

Re: Writing while having a job

#4
I take writing as a hobby. A time consuming one, but still a distraction from work. 

I almost watch no TV/video, so that also leaves a bit more free time. 

It depends on how you approach writing. If it is a chore and a second job to do after your first job, then yes, it can drag you down. 

Work can also be a source of inspiration, the people you meet, the things you do, the gossips and other little stories your coworker might tell you etc... all can become writing material. 

And sometimes, you just need a break from writing and instead read a lot to find inspiration anew. 

Good luck overcoming writer's block. 

Re: Writing while having a job

#5
I totally understand where you're coming from. I work an 8-4 job, but with commutes etc I'm out of the house from 7-5 and when I get home, even if I'm not super tired there's just other stuff that I want to do as well as write: catch up on a TV show, read a book, do some painting, go shopping, meet friends etc. It's hard to write when you're tired and only have a few hours before you have to sleep and be up for work again, and it's hard to write on a set schedule because creativity can't be forced and it's even harder to write if you have no engagement on your stories because the weight of expectation just isn't there to push you to write.

I get it.

Don't be too hard on yourself though, the best way is to choose one day, or a set few hours on the weekend (not the whole weekend) to sit down and plod on with your next chapter. I've only just gotten more into my own story after 13 months on this site and that in and of itself is motivating. Are you enjoying your story at the moment though?Are you excited about it? When I'm not really feeling it, I up and go to a cafe where everyone is showing off their Macs, make a playlist that fits the 'mood' of the story to get into the right headspace, and then on pen and paper attempt to make a timeline of events and connect the dots in the story to see how we're going to get there and it helps un-stick me for a bit.

Good luck!

Re: Writing while having a job

#7
You’re not alone.

Writing with a job is tough. Part of it’s just the lack of time. Part of it’s the exhaustion from being active all day. 

And that’s not even accounting for other commitments. Social commitments, hobbies, chores, family. Sleep.

The only way to make it work is to sacrifice something. For me, that’s A.) my other hobbies, B.) a large chunk of my social engagements, and C.) sleep. It’s to the point I’ve had friends asking about me lately because I haven’t turned up to events in favour of writing. And I often find myself crashing at inopportune times because my sleep is so messed up.

But I don’t see any other way around it other than to pause what I see as a project I’ve committed to. It’s tough - it’s really tough - but I’m going to try to see this through. I hope you manage to do the same. Or step back and take it easy, whichever you deem is best for your continued wellbeing. Unfortunately, however, I don’t have any silver bullet with which to put this dilemma out of its misery.

Some needs to invent time dilation chambers, basically.

Re: Writing while having a job

#8
That is really difficult. I have a full time job too and it's hard. 

If you've only just started your new job, give yourself time to adjust. Hell, even if you've been there for a while it can take time to get back into the flow of things! 

I'd recommend taking small chances to write. Maybe give yourself 5 minutes to jot some ideas down at lunch, 5 minutes after you get home and relax for a little? Or 5 minutes before bed. That's all you need to do for now and once you start writing again, you'll feel better and more able to do it.

Re: Writing while having a job

#9
It's not easy. Some days it's hard but doable, other days it won't happen no matter how much you want it to. It's hard to balance getting enough rest and getting your job done well and still finding the energy and time to work on your stories. There are weeks where getting through is the best to hope for. You're not alone.

One thing that I've found immensely helpful is having someone to do it with. One of my co-workers also writes and we can keep each other accountable and discuss our projects. Not everyone is so fortunate to have a fellow writer irl but I'm sure you could find someone else online who needs a writing buddy. Someone to commiserate with on the bad days, and keep you going on the days when you could but don't feel like it.

Re: Writing while having a job

#10
This is why having just one job - writing - is the dream.

I work as an IT consultant, a 9 to 5 by all accounts, and some more if the work is overwhelming, sometimes makes the creative juices stop flowing. That's why when I see someone who can write a chapter a day I am amazed.

Once a week is hard enough.

Especially keeping a certain amount of quality. (storyline consistency and scenes, not grammar. Oh that is a whole another beast)

You are not alone

Re: Writing while having a job

#11
Write less.

Whatever your current wordcount goals are, halve them, and see if you can manage that. Pushing yourself beyond your normal capabilities is great short-term, like for NaNoWriMo or something, but if you try to do it for months or years on end then you are going to burn out. It sucks when other commitments tank writing productivity like this, but it happens, and there's no inspirational anti-exhaustion trick that's going to work for more than a month or two.

Re: Writing while having a job

#12
I work full time, so by the time I’m done for the day, my brain is fried, but what I try to do is use either my breaks/lunch or downtime during the day to brainstorm ideas together to try and write either during the next break, or after I’m finished for the evening, though I tend to do the majority of my writing on the weekends when I can brainstorm and write both.

Re: Writing while having a job

#14
I was honestly scared of this at first, but to be honest I find writing to be a lot of fun. It's like coming home after a long day at work and watching some TV to unwind to me. I don't really try to bang words out, but I try to take my time and not worry too much about quantity, so long as I enjoy every moment I write. I think that's the best way to go about it. 

In my opinion, if you don't enjoy your writing, then why are you writing in the first place? 

If you write stuff you don't enjoy to be popular, then good luck. If even you don't like it, how are your viewers going to? 

And if you don't like writing in general, then that only begs the question further. 

Why are you writing? 

Re: Writing while having a job

#15
As a full-time university student, who's worked and is currently interning, I sort of know where you are coming from as well, because I'm always tired. Soon, I will be graduating and working full-time. But from what I learned at the start of this year when interning--I would suggest trying to write whenever you can, even if it is not complete typing, such as short-hand notes. Usually, by the time I can get on my laptop to write, I already have a vague direction of what I want to do with these notes, new ideas, and images that I have gathered during my busy schedule or my short breaks.  

Don't feel bad for being tired.  It's just human for all of us to be tired with our crazy schedules. Sometimes, I get worried about losing Followers--and I do from time to time--but I always make sure to thank them for being patience in the next update or at least let them know that I am still continuing the series, so they don't think that I'm going to drop my story. 

I feel that the fact that you worry about having time to write--already shows that you care about writing, and that' s a step toward finding a good pattern or balance that works with your busy schedule. It can take time, some experimenting, and it can be stressful; however, progress is still progress. Even the small acts of writing can count toward your future chapters or work.  

Re: Writing while having a job

#16
I've been writing for years now, starting from secondary school and then into polytechnic. While I'll admit I'm awful at scheduling, often times, I write after I get everything I need done. And during important periods (guess,) I don't write at all, choosing to just run through scenarios and lore building, although it can get hard to track if I end up focusing on too much at once.
Now, I'm waiting to be enlisted and have a part time job, so I pretty much don't have much time. But I still use my evening to write.
My point is that there's no need to stress out about writing. Write when you can and when you are in the mood to do so. Being stressed out is detrimental to your health and to your writing (Unless you're writing a stressful scene... In which case, it's up to you.)