Working and Writing

I don’t know about you, but I’m not lucky enough to be able to write full time. I don’t expect to be able to write full time either and if I’m honest, I think I would become a major expert at procrastinating should it ever become the case! I work full time in order to support myself and my partner. I am lucky enough to actually really love my job. I am a support worker in a job where I meet new people regularly, work with some of the best colleagues I could ask for and I’m given full autonomy to make my own decisions and get on with my work. No two days are ever the same and I like that. I absolutely love it.

On the other hand, my job does get pretty tiring. I work a shift pattern of earlys, mids and lates. It’s a pattern that just recently came in too so I’m still trying to get used to it but after a full month run through I have to say I quite like it. The problem I’ve found so far is that, through my early shifts I come home still full of energy and raring to write. Which is obviously great.

The mids, I’ve found so far, have been the worst. The shift spans the middle of the day meaning I don’t really have a lot of time before or after work. I come home tired and struggle to write anything at all. The lates give me a little more time in the morning to write but of course it means I need to drag my ass out of bed and make a sustained effort to stay awake and write! (Okay, it’s not that bad considering I’m really a morning person!)

On top of this shift pattern, if you remember I’m going for a no zero day. So far I have succeeded (except one day in January) and I’m proud of myself but at the same time (particularly when I did those mid shifts) I found that I was maybe writing a couple of hundred words, if that, per day. And that really bums me. When I write I like to sit down and really crank out the word count otherwise I don’t feel like I’ve achieved much. Of course it won’t happen everyday but so far this month, my word count is pretty atrocious compared to January.

I have a lot of short stories on the go with ideas spinning through my mind as well as edits on a novel and I get frustrated when I don’t have time to sit and write (or edit). This weekend I’m off and as well as everything else (housework, DIY, gym, socialising), I hope to get some major writing done.

Do any of you work full time? What is your day job? How do you manage writing and working full time? If you don’t work, do you have any suggestions for us?

Are you a Goal-Oriented Person?

Different people work in different ways. If you’re anything like me then you need to have lists of things to do, lots of ticky boxes that you feel great about crossing out and goals to work towards. If not then perhaps you’re the type of person who likes to wing it and see where it gets you.

I’ve tried both approaches in the past. And I guess it depends what I’m doing. I like to be organised. It helps me keep things in line and know where I’ve got to be and what I’ve got to write for when. However, it doesn’t always go to plan and I think it’s important to know when to step outside the box and wing it along with my counterparts.

Currently, I’m working on a few short stories for submission and I’m starting the edits of a nano novel. So that’s all going well. But in the middle of all of that my brain came up with this ingenious idea. And I couldn’t let it go so I’ve started planning it and while I’m not writing it yet, it won’t be far off. I’ve just gone with the flow of this and those deadlines are still niggling in the back of my mind so I know just when I’ve got to work on something else by.

Being flexible and adaptable is probably a very important to being a creative person. Rigidity is good but so is change and I try to aspire to both. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it blows my mind a little trying to stay focused but going with the flow but I’m learning as I go.

Are you goal oriented or do you wing it? Which approach is better for you and how do you go about it?