Writing around a day-job can be tricky. Unless you’re a real morning person or a true night owl, your potentially productive daylight hours are taken up with working rather than writing. But if you’re smart you make writing at work, work for you. Here are 8 helpful tips.
1) Have a plan
As time is going to be tight, you need to make the most of it. Whether you choose a scene, draft a character, or work on your plot, it’s a good idea to have some kind of plan in your head before you start writing.
2) Make your commute count
First off, don’t try this if you drive! But if you get public transport, you have the opportunity to use your commute time to get down some words.
3) Use your breaks
You may not feel that inclined to write when taking your lunch break, but it’s a good way to free your headspace from the stresses of work.
4) Go outside
Staying in your place of work can mean work stays with you – people have a habit of interrupting you even when you’re quite clearly off the clock. If the weather is co-operating and you have a suitable space, then get outside. Fresh air and sunlight can help your creativity too.
5) Float into the Cloud
A lightweight tablet, Chromebook or similar is the easiest option to carry back and forth to your workplace. You might even be ok with a smartphone if it’s large enough. Save your work into Cloud storage and it’s simple to carry on where you left off no matter where you write.
6) Don’t discount a notebook and pen
I’ve written entire books in notepads before. Yes it means you have to type up your work afterwards, but it’s perfect to shove in your bag without worrying about security (although you don’t want to lose your words whatever they’re on!)
7) Bring headphones
If you can’t get out of your workplace or just need to focus, try headphones and something to listen to be it music, birdsong or even white noise.
8) Don’t forget to actually take a break
A break is meant to be a break. So whilst it’s a great time to put in a few words don’t forget to chill, eat, drink and generally recharge.
Those are my tips – what advice do you have my fellow writers-with-day-jobs? Let me know in the comments?
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I tend to write at night before bed and try to work my schedule so one or two nights are nothing but writing. I also have a weekly writing date with another writer friend. I’d love to have more time, but you do what you can.