Writing, writing and writing – this is my life.
Being a full-time writer is a dream really. It’s also great to think of all those people who told me that studying writing or just being interested in it was a waste of time.
While it might not be the kind of stuff I dream about writing sometimes, I am free to make a living by picking some words and putting them in an order.
However, while this is fantastic and I’m incredibly lucky, there is one downside that I want to talk about today.
Forgotten fiction writing
I’ve been writing fiction since I was about 6 years old. I love it and it’d be amazing if I could become a full-time novelist who sells books about castles and dragons and shit.
But in the meantime, I need to pay the bills. Writing content for businesses is a great way to do this but it does impact my fiction writing.
Yes the bill-paying writing is the priority. but fiction is important to me too.
Losing creative steam
As much as I enjoy writing, when it’s your day job, you naturally get a bit tired of it. It could be your dream job but we all have days where we would rather sit in pyjamas and eat pizza in front of Netflix all day.
After a day of writing, I find that I’ve run out of steam, creatively. At the end of a day of writing, I even struggle to speak coherently, so me tackling a novel is kinda difficult.
Find your Golden Hours
I think the first step is to discover when you are your most energised and when you’re most tired.
For most people, the end of a working day is when they’re tired. That’s why people suggest doing exercise in the morning. We all know you’re not going to do it after a day of Karen from Accounts glaring at you all day for eating the last cookie.
For some, after work may be their Golden Hours. This could be where they feel the most energised and ready to take on all the things that they really want to do. If this is you, brilliant.
For me, at the end of a working day, I just want to relax.
If you live with a partner or family, I think it’s important to set aside time when you’re all at home in the evening, trying to relax (unless you have atypical working schedules).
For the past couple of months, before I went full-time, I was trying to work in the evenings. It wasn’t great. My partner would get home and want to relax and I’m sitting there stressing about email newsletters. When you’re both on different levels like that, there becomes a bit of distance. So I wanted to get on the same level, roughly. I just think that’s probably healthier relationship-wise.
Anyway, the point I was getting to was – find the time that suits you best.
As much as I don’t want to admit it, the mornings are best for me.
I am not a morning person. Or a night person either. I am barely even a person at this stage but I’ve got shit to do so I’ve got to make a choice.
Rise and shine
I’ve spoken a few times about early morning wake-ups over the past few weeks because I’ve been obsessively researching them. I feel like if early wake-ups had some affiliate program, I’d be making some serious money by the end of the year.
I got into the habit of getting up late, watching a Youtube video about someone absolutely slaying it before 7.00am and thinking “yeah I could do that”.
I tried it for a couple of months and yeah I can get a lot done. But when I went to work from home full-time – I was like “I’ve got all day to stuff, I don’t need to wake up early…”
So yeah, can confirm, that I’m not getting any of that stuff actually done. I can have the best intentions in the world but if I’m not actually doing them, it’s pointless.
One of the problems with mine and many other writers’ mind-sets is that we are not prioritising our fiction writing. Yeah, it may not be paying the bills, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be prioritised.
If writing fiction is important to you, you need to make time for it. Doing it first thing in the morning forces you to get your novel going before all the worries and responsibilities of life pile on top of you.
That’s the best advice I can give really. Make time and show your novel/screenplay/poem the attention that it deserves. Even if that means getting up at stupid o’ clock in the morning. This time is quieter and easier to concentrate in while everyone’s still tucked up in bed anyway.
When you make time for writing you actually enjoy, it’ll make you a better writer overall and you’ll feel much more accomplished.
Do you write fiction when writing is your job? How do you balance the two and make time for both? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.