It’s Friday and the weekend starts here. So they tell me. I’m fortunate enough to have a day job but at the risk of sounding ungrateful, it bores me. It’s not challenging and at times, I get irritated at being told how to do my job by those who have little-to-no idea what my job entails. “Hey, I’ve got this great idea on how you can double your workload pointlessly and slow yourself right down, thereby practically guaranteeing you miss important deadlines!”
It pays the rent and puts food on the table. I can’t deny that. However, I also can’t deny that it’s not what I envisioned myself doing with my adult life. What else can I do to make money? Write. I’ve made pretty pleasing amounts of money in the past, but not frequently enough and not often enough. (Take the largest cheque I’ve ever received and double it. If I could do that every week, I could easily afford to quit the day job.) Upshot is, this is pretty strong motivation to treat writing like my main job. If I fit writing around a million other things in life, well, it very likely won’t get done. Or it’ll be the first thing I drop if other, allegedly more important, things come up.
Clearly I can’t just drop the day job (I wish) and it has a set timetable, so yes, in a way, writing needs to fit around that. But I’ve heard some folks say if you want writing to be your main job, treat it like it is, before it is. In other words, I need to have set times for writing, and I need to honour that time, barring illness. Block out time for it in the way I do with the day job. In the way I do for chores. In the way I do for certain other things in life.
I’m also going to look at ways of fitting micro-sessions of writing in to my day-to-day life. Perhaps keeping a notepad with me everywhere I go, making notes for story ideas on the move instead of waiting until I get home to my desk, that sort of thing.
My manuscripts are kept on my Chromebook which I can’t exactly carry with me everywhere. If I show up at the office with my personal computer, well, that’s inviting accusations of skiving on work time, and quite right too. So I won’t be able to work directly on my works-in-progress through the day. Maybe in future I can work something out, learn shorthand, scribble bits of dialogue on my lunch break. Earn a fortune so I can quit the day job and stay home all day, never changing out of my Primark pyjamas?
A girl can dream.