This summer is the first time I’ve ever had a full-time job. Shocking, I’m sure. It’s led me to realize how spoiled I’ve been. As a student, I could stay up late writing and go to an early class without a problem, because I’d scheduled a two hour break in my day where I could eat lunch and take a quick nap to recharge for afternoon classes. No such luck with a full-time job.
I’m beginning to understand these adults around me who say they’ve started a novel, but can’t seem to find the time to complete it. When sleeping and writing compete for the time, writing usually wins for me. But now I’m not so sure. I come home from work exhausted after an 11 hour day so that it takes two hours, roughly, to get all my mental capacities back. That’s two hours I could have spent editing!
So to do my last round of edits on the WIP, I printed the entire draft and put it in a binder. I take it to work with me, and edit during my lunch break. I also try to sneak some edits in when I’m not on assignment. I had a goal to edit a chapter a day, but since I’m reading each chapter at least three times, I suspect my goal was a bit too lofty. (The good news is that I’m really liking the draft so far. It’s covered in pencil from my markings, but I’m finding more gems than rocks, proverbially speaking.)
So you full-time workers, do you have any advice for the newbie? How do you balance being a professional and a writer at the same time?