By Tamara D. Fickas
Writing is such a glamorous life. Writers get to sleep in, play all day, write amazing pieces, and bring in the big bucks.
If you, like me, are one of the those writers who has to work a day job to keep the cat fed and the mortgage paid, writing is not all glitz and glam, but then again it’s not all that for full-time writers either. It’s hard work. It’s getting up early to get to work on time. It’s carving out time in a packed schedule to be able to write. It’s developing ideas into a real story or article. It’s tough and sometimes we wish we could be full-time writers. Sometimes we even wish we could just not write.
So, what’s a day job writer supposed to do? Over the years, I’ve come to realize a few things about how to make this journey easier.
1. Accept where God has you right now. For many years, I envied my friends who are full-time writers. Those who have the ability not to work a non-writing job seemed to have it made. I finally came to see that their lives weren’t necessarily any easier, just different. They had the same struggles I had with turning ideas into something useable, writing the synopsis, dealing with social media, and worrying about money that I did. Through prayer and reflection I came to a place of peace with the way my life is at this time. God has blessed me with a job I love that also provides financial security and health insurance, and He has blessed me with the gift of words.
2. Make a plan for when the writing will occur. I have a tendency to think that tomorrow will have more time. Or that I should wait until I feel motivated and inspired. William Faulkner once said, “I only write when I’m inspired, and I see that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.” The blank computer screen torments us all. We just need to honor the time we’ve set aside and write. The inspiration will come. The key is facing that blank screen every day on a regular basis.
3. Guard your writing time. It’s so easy to put it aside. After all, it’s not like there’s a boss breathing down your neck. Why not go to lunch with your coworkers instead of writing? There will be time later. Just remember that later there will be laundry, Suzi’s dance recital, bills to pay, or sleep to be had. Make a decision to honor your writing time commitments just as you would any other commitment. Encourage your family and friends to respect your writing time also.
No, writing may not be as glamorous as we’d like. The day job will complicate things. No writer will ever tell you differently. But in the end, all the hard parts of getting there will be well worth it.
Tamara Fickas – Christian, storyteller, writer, speaker, encourager. She lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her beloved kitty boy, Wilson. When not writing she loves adventures, time with her dad, reading, and making people laugh. Life experiences, her vivid imagination, coffee, and Hot Tamales fuel her writing.