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Yes, Working Writers Can Have a Successful Writing Career! by Irene S. Roth

One of the hardest things to do is to be a working writer.

It can be hard to focus and be successful in your writing career. Few of us know how to switch gears after work in order to write in a focused manner. Writing is hard work. And it requires consistency and efficiency to be most successful. But how can writers achieve this if they are tired and worn out all the time?

Writers, whether they work full-time or part-time have a limited amount of time and energy to write. Writing doesn’t come easily in such situations because our brains are pushed and pulled in so many different directions. There is always so much to do and not enough time to do it in.

So, our writing is usually the first thing to go.

In addition, our world is running faster and faster. We feel like we must keep up with it, regardless of how fast it is going. But is this in line with completing our writing goals and being successful as well as healthy? Does all this rushing around make us more efficient? Is it conducive to creating a writing life that works, even though you can’t devote at fifteen to twenty hours to writing every week?

I believe that our fast-paced culture has resulted in our minds being scattered minds. This doesn’t bode well for a working writer.  Multi-tasking is the new mantra in our culture and it has seeped into our writing life as well. This doesn’t bode well for a working writer. Do these mindless mindsets help us write more? Can we focus with the fatigue we experience on a daily and weekly basis?

Writing is such a wonderful and meaningful activity.

It can take us away from the mundane into a world that is filled with wonder and awe. We have the unique opportunity to research and write about topics that people want to learn about. We will be learning every day and doing some of the things that we so dearly love. Writing is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves for mental equilibrium and self-fulfillment. But as you write, you will also make this world a much better place.

When writers work full time, however, it can be hard to be aware of everything we must do outside of work. We come home tired and sometimes even frustrated as well as anxious. The first thing we should do is decompress. We may have no energy to assess our lives and how efficient we are when we’re so tired. The easiest thing to do after work is have dinner and watch TV. Then suddenly we remember that we should have been writing and we may immediately get frustrated and our self-confidence will plummet. All the negative self-talk comes to the foreground and we may feel awful as we prepare to go to bed because it represents one more day where we did no writing.

Days may pass and still you may not have done any writing.

This will further frustrate you and the situation may start to negatively impact your self-esteem. You may start wondering whether you should give up and not write. Why try to write when you never get around to it. You feel weak-willed because you can’t seem to control your energy levels after work so that you could get even a bit of writing done. This negative mindset may further increase your levels of anxiety and frustration to the point where you are less and less likely to write. We know we should be writing but how can we do so, given all our pressures and obligations? The good news is that there is a way out of this conundrum.

The best way out of this frustrating situation is to try and write every day, even if it is only a bit.

That way you could be sure to do even some writing. This will build your self-confidence as a writer and give you the incentive you need to continue writing every day. Even if you decide to write for only 15 to 30 minutes a day before dinner or after dinner a few times a week, you will be making progress on your writing goals.

However, try to make sure that you consistently write. That means, every week, schedule a few days a week to write. On the weekend, try and write for an hour or so. This will then become a habit and your ticket to be a successful writer because writing begets writing. In other words, the more often you sit down to write, the more you will want to write.

Secondly, by writing every day, you will develop the habit of writing.

After four to six weeks, you will, for instance, want to write after dinner every day for 30 minutes or if you can write in the morning before work, you will be motivated to get up and write. But more importantly, you will be making time to write and scheduling it in your planner. In the process, you will be building self-confidence and getting a lot of writing done.

Thirdly, you will get your family used to the fact that you are writing.

This will help you feel more confident about your writing and that you will be given the space and time to write every day. Non-writers don’t understand the writing life and how long it takes to complete and revise a manuscript. Therefore, consistently writing will get them used to the idea that you’re a writer and will be writing.

Thus, make sure that you schedule time to write every day.

Experiment to determine when are your best times to write. If you’re too busy and tired in the evening, maybe waking up earlier in the day will work for you. Or, you can try writing on your lunch hour. See what works, and then create a writing schedule from there. But be patient and consistent. If one time of day doesn’t work, keep experimenting and try different things. This will lead to success and you will become a very successful writer who writes and completes her manuscripts.

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Irene S. Roth has a master’s degree in philosophy and Psychology from York University and is currently using her expertise to write for kids about e...