How to Write When You Have a 8-5 Gig

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Life before a full-time gig:  writing and latte

Ever since I started a full-time 8-5 gig this past December I’ve been falling behind on everything from laundry and house cleaning to keeping in touch with friends (except for the scanning of Facebook which mostly just depresses me).  And of course writing.  Which makes me feel like I have no business writing this post.  It has been hard. So damn hard.  I can’t even imagine what my friends go through to work on writing, many even have written books!   And these are friends with spouses and children along with their full-time jobs and writing aspirations.  Some of them even manage to get exercise routines into their regular daily schedule!

The only way I’ve managed to do any writing at all is to host a drop-in writing group.  I started this group in August of 2013 inspired by two different groups led by two of my early mentors:  Jill Badonsky and Judy Reeves.  It’s an opportunity to gather with writer friends on a weekly basis to write, for one hour.  I offer writing prompts and set the timer and we write. Sometimes we write junk but sometimes we get the start of a great story, work on a scene from a novel, craft a poem, or develop a character. And we share if we want to.  It’s amazing how well you get to know a person when you share writing.  It inspires me, and I know for sure that I will write for one hour a week.

Now that the days are getting longer I’m imagining ways I can get back to my writing.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Make the time.

Take a notebook to lunch and write.  (Note to self:  take a lunch break.) Stop somewhere after work, before coming home, and write.  Go to your neighborhood cafe on Saturday morning, and write.  Write standing in line at the grocery. Write before you go to sleep.  Get up early and write….   see a theme here?

Make writing a priority.

Choose writing over Netflix. Choose writing over lunch. Choose writing writing over rushing home. Choose writing over Facebook. Choose writing over phone calls. Choose.

Find support.

There are groups everywhere: My writing group is a drop-in group on Mondays,  Judy Reeve’s (in San Diego) has been hosting Thursday writers group for 20 years! and Jill Badonsky’s hosts fun and invigorating creativity workshops in San Diego and many other places.  There are lots of MeetUp groups for writers…. and books. So many books!  (feel free to share your favorite in the comments section)

Remember you love writing.

If you don’t “love” writing, remind yourself why you do it.  Remember that you need it. Remember that it fills your soul. You have a gift. Use it.

And if you  have any tips for me on how to get more writing into my life, please share.

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