Writing is hard work, but when you add in a day job, you have to get creative with your writing time. I write and I work full time at a day job, that sometimes drains a lot of my time and creativity.
So how do writers who work full time manage to write full time?
They have a bag of tricks they use to get the job done.
Here are some of the "tricks" out of my bag:
1. Get up early or stay up late
I get up an hour early during the week. I get a cup of coffee, check stats, then I try to write about 500 words before I have to get ready to leave for the day job. Most evenings, I spend several hours writing.
2. Set goals
I want to write about 1000 words every day, but I know there are some days that I can barely get 500 words written. Weekly goals seem to work a little better for me. My weekly goal is to write a minimum of 5000 words.
I create outlines for my stories. I learned a long time ago, I have to have an outline. It helps keep me on track. I know exactly where I need to go with the story. I keep story notes in a binder and the working outline is in the pocket of a spiral notebook that goes everywhere with me.
4. Write daily
Writing daily helps keep the creativity flowing. When I write daily, I tend to write more.
5. Keep pen and paper handy or your tablet
I don't leave the house without a pen and notepad or spiral notebook. I never know when an idea is going to hit me. If you're like me, if I don't write it down immediately, I forget it. I know some people who keep tablets or IPads with them to write on. I don't have one, but have started looking into them. But that is another story for another day.
6. Be Flexible
This is the biggest "trick" I can tell you about. Last month, my day job threw me for a loop. I had to give it a lot of extra hours, and as a result my writing didn't get as much attention as it should have. I've sat down and reevaluated my goals and adjusted them so that both my writing and the day job stuff gets done. Flexibility is a huge key in succeeding.
You've probably seen these "tricks" numerous times. They are not new, but they work for me. Remember, not every tip about writing will work for you. You have to figure out what works for you and develop them.
But the biggest thing you have to have is determination.
Without determination, you will not succeed.
I'm determined to succeed.