Anita Agers Brooks

Writing With a Day Job

Writing Career Plus a Day Job

Juggling a Day Job With a Writing Career?

Are you a writer, or an aspiring writer with a day job? Ever get tired trying to juggle at least two careers, (day job and writing), along with mommy, daddy, spouse, family, friend, and church duties?

If so, you are not alone. A conference speaker gave this statistic. “About one percent of writers succeed at getting published. Because most drop out of the race.” Here’s my post on that experience.

Embedded within that percentage is a smaller number of those who can actually afford to write full-time. Making the leap to a devoted writing career usually requires long-term planning, intentional strategy, and detailed tactics. Jeff Goins’ recent blog encapsulates a great way to approach the goal of becoming a full-time writer. The steps he outlines, I could have written myself. (More on that in a later post.)

But if you’re reading this now, odds are writing with a day job is your reality. Anything else may feel like something built on fluffy clouds.

So how do you bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, serve it to those you are responsible for, and after the dishes are done still find time to pursue that dream throbbing with every heart beat? Can it be done? I believe the answer is a resounding YES!

People often ask me how I accomplish everything at work and home, plus write blogs, devotionals, articles, and books. After I imagine my cluttered living room, (I’m not Wonder Woman, something has to suffer), three things come to mind. “Resolve, listen, act.”

As a writer with a day job:

Juggling a Writing Career and a Day Job

Resolve to Invest Time in Your Writing Business

A. Resolve to invest wisely.

  • Treat your day job with respect. Just because you have a higher calling, or a bigger dream, don’t discount the gift of your employment today. After all, it pays the bills, and you can glean great writing fodder from things that happen in your workplace.
  • Watch less television, and write more.
  • Create your own Writer’s Cave.
  • Rise earlier, and allow fewer sleep-in days.
  • Write when you’re tired, energized, or just so-so.
  • Schedule writing, don’t wait until you feel like it.
  • Celebrate small victories. Fifteen minutes putting words on a screen are worthy of excitement.

B. Listen to voices of genuine authority.

  • For me, the voice of God rings truth above any other I might listen to. Early on, I asked the Best Selling Author of All Time to mentor me, and He hasn’t let me down yet.
  • Do not disregard those who have written with day jobs before you. Heed their valuable advice.
  • Seek the wisdom of professional agents, editors, and publishers. They are in their positions based on education, experience, and talent.

Writer With a Day Job Book CoverC. Act on what you are taught.

  • Be a doer — not a hearer, dreamer, thinker, talker only.
  • Keep something for notes with you always. Inspiration comes in strange times and places.
  • Make tiny goals like, “Write for five minutes before I leave for work.” You will encourage yourself with things to look forward to, and enjoy a sense of satisfaction when you complete them.
  • Keep your word. It’s better not to make a promise at work, or as a writer, than to make one and break it.

Have you read Aine Greaney’s fabulous book, Writer with a Day JobIt’s full of tips, exercises, and encouragements.

Anita Fresh Faith

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