How many of you are stuck in the cycle of waking up, fighting traffic, arriving at work for eight to ten hours, then repeating?
A lot of us do so six days a week and with it we sacrifice writing time and other passions for the sake of a place we admittedly would rather do without.
We want to pursue our writing passion and make a full-time living off our writing, but man, where do we start and when do we find the time?
It’s a question all aspiring writers ask themselves.
I’m currently working a 2pm to Whenever work shift and I’m in this thing strictly for the money. I fit in with warehouse work about as well as one of my favorite symphonic metal bands would at what used to be Jamboree in the Hills (the Super Bowl of country music).
So comes the obvious: Focus on both my writing to make money in it and return to my old fitness passion and start making money in it again after I turned my back on it not so long ago.
The goal for all of us is to get the hell out of these dreaded day jobs society has trapped us in as soon as possible. Only then can we start to experience life to its fullest.
Your Writing Time is Sacred
I’ve touched up on this in previous articles, but I like doing so every few months as reminders to my reading base. You need to choose a time to write and stick to your guns no matter what.
It’s like when I choose my workout times; nothing and nobody will stop me from working out at those times.
If your writing time is 6am, then it needs to be that way every single day. Ditto if it’s on your lunch break or 6pm.
Nobody can take this time from you unless there’s a legitimate emergency going on somewhere in your life. Don’t allow anyone to take this time away from you and if they’re confused regarding your writing time, be real with them.
If they try to guilt-trip you, then get rid of that person. True friends and understanding family members won’t do this; they’ll support you.
Speaking of Support Systems
A lot of writers out there, even those who have accomplished a thing or two, have dreaded day jobs they’d rather not be at.
Like you, they want to be at home, in libraries, or in coffee shops, or wherever their sacred writing place is, doing what they love.
Even if no one in your personal network understands or supports you, there are a lot of writers out there that will. While they’ll be online for the most part, remember that these are real writers and real people.
Twitter and Facebook have revolutionized global communications and you will find a lot of good people on both sites if you haven’t already done so. A lot of them are just like you and we all want the same goals.
While many writing fields are competitive markets, it’s important to remember each writer has their own niche or field that they write in, so don’t think of other writers as your competition. Many won’t be. And even if they are, we’re all on different levels as it is.
The only person a writer needs to compete with is themselves.
As someone who used to compete in men’s physique between 2012 and 2015, I’ve come to learn one thing: It isn’t simply about the competition on stage as it was to me becoming the best version of me.
In other words, if I took the stage in the best shape of my life, I knew I’d done my job. The same goes for you as a writer. We still have about 45 weeks left this year, so if you can start today if you haven’t already done so and by the end of December, truly state you’ve come a long way, you’ve already won.
Set goals and commitments, such as:
1. Write every day during that sacred writing time.
2. Make at least three new writing friends per month.
3. Turn what you’re writing into projects and watch them grow throughout the year.
Guys, the possibilities are endless when it comes to self-competition, and soon you’ll be setting goals like:
1. Minimize adverbs to X amount.
2. Stop using two or more adjectives to describe, instead use stronger nouns and verbs.
By watching yourself grow, you’ll add tougher challenges for yourself over time.
The (Not So) Long Road Ahead
A year really isn’t a long time, though it seems so to many.
It’s already the middle of February, so the first six weeks of the year have flown by.
Did you do anything to better yourself yet in 2019?
If the answer is no, today would be a great place to begin.
Here’s why you need to pursue your writing dream despite the 40+ hours you’re working already at the DDJ.
1. Writing is a great escape from reality.
2. Writing will provide you a sense of accomplishment.
3. Writing is a process that you can see through from beginning to end.
4. Writing is work, but it’s fun and fulfilling work.
5. Writing is a form of self-care. If you haven’t researched the importance of self-care, I urge you to.
6. Writing will open the doors to new friends, both online and potentially offline.
Imagine accomplishing just these six examples over the next ten and a half months. Look at where you are now and ask if you want to be in the position you’re in. If the answer is no, then by all means, it’s time to pursue the passion you’ve always had in you and wanted.
Why wait another second?
Why continue to procrastinate?
It’s about time you started enjoying your work, feeling successful, feeling as if you did something other than the 9-5 (or in my case, 2-10) grind.
Get out there, write, make time, find a support crew, set goals, accomplish them, grow, and you will soon find that the full-time writing dream really isn’t as far off as it appears.
Oh, and always, always, always keep learning. Invest in courses, find ways that make you better as a writer.
Never think you know it all. Never assume just one or two people know it all. Invest in ways that will take you to where you want to be in the writing field and no one can ever stop you.