Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Balance Your Writing and Your Day Job – Overview

Finding a sustainable work-life balance is one of the most difficult tasks of modern life. Add to that a demanding “hobby” like creative writing and we can all find ourselves making frantic introspective deals, such as, I’ll take a nap this afternoon and write fifty pages tomorrow to make up for it.

In spite of my good intentions, I often fail to keep such deals with myself and, as a result, my writing suffers.

Over the next few posts, I will provide some insight into how I’ve managed my “day job” and my “night job” – my writing. For now, I will just give a brief overview of my process. Keep in mind that this is my process. What works for me may not work for you (although I sincerely hope that it does!).

Set a Goal

The first step in my personal balancing act is to set a goal for myself. I dream big so my goal is a whopper: publish a book in the next five years.

Break it Down

The only way to reach a destination you haven’t been before is to follow the map. I will give you a run down of how to create that map by breaking down a big goal into manageable and (hopefully) achievable steps.

Find the Time

It’s all well and good to have a roadmap of where you want to go, but what if you don’t have the time to take the trip in the first place?

Carving out the time to write and to work on your writing goal isn’t necessarily about using all of your vacation time to sit in front of the computer screen. It’s about finding the time on the margins of your life to do what you can. Increasingly, our time is measured out in smaller and smaller increments. Let’s make use of some of those tiny slices of time.


What is important to you? Is it keeping up with the latest television show or is it reaching your Big Writing Goal? I’m going to be presumptuous and answer with the latter.

Is your life too hectic? Caught up in gadgets and time-wasting activities? Stop taking all of those detours and get back on track. Simplify, man. And start moving ever closer to your goal.

Get Help

Sometimes you need an expert to navigate your way across unfamiliar territory. Other times, you just need to have someone riding shotgun to keep you focused and moving forward. Get the help you need in the one way possible – ask for it!

So let’s get going. What have we got to lose?

Photo courtesy of Pixomar at

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