Finding the Time to Edit

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?

4 thoughts on “Finding the Time to Edit

  1. Ahem. The obligatory dig… haha n00b! 😀

    I'm lucky enough to have a full-time job that involves surfing RSS feeds, and since I can pick them I end up on a lot of writing blogs (hence why I'm never around on weekends). That helps… but often times I get home and want to fall over, or go online for my fun interactive non-serious writing projects. I get a lot more done on Saturdays now, and the book's been slow going, especially the more intensive things get at my job. … Chapter eleven still isn't done.

    The problem, I think, is that after getting home again after work there just isn't enough energy left to come up with something really great. Try waking up an hour early, eating breakfast, waking up, then sitting down to write. You might be more tired at the end of the day, but at least you got something done.

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  2. Ahem. The obligatory dig… haha n00b! 😀

    I’m lucky enough to have a full-time job that involves surfing RSS feeds, and since I can pick them I end up on a lot of writing blogs (hence why I’m never around on weekends). That helps… but often times I get home and want to fall over, or go online for my fun interactive non-serious writing projects. I get a lot more done on Saturdays now, and the book’s been slow going, especially the more intensive things get at my job. … Chapter eleven still isn’t done.

    The problem, I think, is that after getting home again after work there just isn’t enough energy left to come up with something really great. Try waking up an hour early, eating breakfast, waking up, then sitting down to write. You might be more tired at the end of the day, but at least you got something done.

    Like

  3. Yeah, my full time job includes developing websites, but it doesn't necessarily give me leave to just surf or write or whatever. I've been really spoiled because my part-time job the last three years was being a computer lab proctor… meaning if no one had any questions, I could do my homework or write.

    I'm up to chapter thirteen, which is good… but I have about 40 chapters (some are only a couple of paragraphs).

    I'll try waking up early. It'll be a struggle because I'm not a morning person at all, but my writing is worth it. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Like

  4. Yeah, my full time job includes developing websites, but it doesn’t necessarily give me leave to just surf or write or whatever. I’ve been really spoiled because my part-time job the last three years was being a computer lab proctor… meaning if no one had any questions, I could do my homework or write.

    I’m up to chapter thirteen, which is good… but I have about 40 chapters (some are only a couple of paragraphs).

    I’ll try waking up early. It’ll be a struggle because I’m not a morning person at all, but my writing is worth it. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Like

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