Treat it Like a Job
One of the hardest things about the writer’s life is sitting down and writing. Some authors enjoy it more than anything and most authors agree that it is hard work. All the editing and planning and outlining and submitting …
I love to write, to disappear into another world. the editing and submitting suck a bit, but they are worth it for the chance to create. I love reading stories by other people and it helps me become better. Even going to conventions for self-promotion is kinda fun even with my social anxiety. The only part of writing I don’t actually like is the figuring out when I can write.
Life is such a hectic and unpredictable thing. The day job takes up so much time. The chores at home take up so much time. Family takes up so much time. There seems to not be enough hours in the day to fit it all as it is. Then again, one of the things they press on me at my day job where I make my own hours is to “treat it like a job”. Working out in the field last week trying to keep myself working and not slack off, it suddenly hit me. This is just like the writing life. I can cut off work when I want to. I can put in as many or as few hours as I want to. And what that means is I am in charge of my input, thus also my output.
Lately, my writing output has taken a back seat to adjusting my life to fit more in tune around the new job. My commitments have stretched my time so thin that I’m not inputting any energy to my writing. The end result is no writing output.
When they tell us to “treat it like a job” what they mean is to act like I am punching a time clock even though I don’t. If we don’t hold to the same requirements that someone standing on an assembly line or behind a counter. Just like the day job where if I don’t put any hours into the field I sell nothing and get no paycheck, if I don’t put any hours into writing I don’t get better or create any stories to sell. It only makes sense.
So, in order to increase production and to enjoy more of the writing life is to not treat it like a hobby, but to treat it like a job. I’ve had several jobs all at once before and balanced it. So that is what I need to do with writing now. I need to schedule a part of my day and week to “work” on my writing. If I have to punch in and produce, then I’ll actually get something done more than dreaming about it.