It’s not just me; other writers are thinking about/worried about/frustrated by trying to balance working full-time and writing. A former co-worker and writer’s group member wrote to say that she wants to fall out of full-time and into freelance, because she’s frustrated by how little time she can spend on her writing.
And here I am, having just done the opposite. For anyone wondering how that’s going: I haven’t written anything besides blog posts since I started working 22 days ago. (You could argue that I write at work, and yes, I do, but that’s a different kind of writing.) I probably would have written nothing if it weren’t for this blog and the encouraging writers and friends who read it and tell me to keep going.
But it’s hard to even find time to post here, let alone carve out a block of time for actual, productive writing.
And yet: it has to happen.
I read a lovely post over the weekend on red Ravine, in which the author, a single mom of twins, mentioned she gets up at 4:30 am to write, because that’s when she can get something done.
When I read that, I thought, I don’t think I can get up at 4:30 am.
But then I thought, well, OK, when can I write? It’s certainly not happening on a regular basis now. It’s taken me almost three days to write this post. I feel a little ashamed of myself when I hear that a single mom of twins (also a journalist) managed to churn out a number of manuscripts and was going to a conference to shop one to agents and I can’t even finish a blog post, in part because she’s dedicated enough to get up at 4:30 to write.
I think one of the problems for working writers is that it just doesn’t seem like it will end. There will always be work and there will always be writing, squeezed in like an afterthought when really it’s the forethought. It seems hopeless at times. I wonder if knowing what kind of success will a) make you feel like the writing while working is worth it and b) possibly be the thing that allows/pushes you to stop working, would help. I suspect it might.
Anyhow, I’m going to figure out something, I just haven’t discovered what will work yet. For now, it’s 10 minutes grabbed on mornings when I am organized and on time, or a half hour in the evening before I either have to take the dog out or I get too tired to write.