Sunday, August 08, 2010

Working Two Jobs

I'm starting to remember how precious days off from work can be, especially when I know I won't have two in a row for a while.

Daily writing becomes a serious challenge, as everyone who writes with a day job knows.  The trick, key, whatever you want to call it, is to decide to do it, and then do it regardless of how much time you have in a given day.  If all you have is fifteen minutes out of your lunch, then you have to make the commitment.

Fortunately I have a job that, despite having a variable schedule, is set between fixed hours.  I know the absolute latest hour I'll be home from work on a given day, even if I work the entire day (a shift and a half.)  I also know the absolute earliest that I'll have to come in.  Given those parameters, I can decide in advance if I'm going to write in the mornings or the evenings.  Any other times are bonus times.  I *can* write any time that I'm not at work.  I *choose* to write in the evenings after 9pm, and if I get a little in before work, that's awesome too.  

Without choosing my time to write and then writing at that time, I'd have a lot more missed days for my daily writing goal.  Some people can do it on a day-by-day basis.  I can't.  I need a schedule, or I'm far more likely to blow it off.

Lately I've been writing, instead of reading in bed.  I'm sure it'll change my writing style a bit.  I hope it's for the better.  But at the very least I'm getting words on the virtual page, and that's a writer's primary job, regardless of what the day job might be.

I can see this working on a much more variable schedule with rolling shift changes, but it would require a calendar and a good combination of high expectations and a gut-level knowledge of what you could realistically do.  Thankfully I'm not in that situation.  I think I'd end up doing a lot less writing.

What are your writing habits like?  Do you need to schedule them?

No comments: