Friday, May 20, 2011

Living the Double Life

It's past 1am and I'm not sleeping - this is not new for me. It's simply part of my double life - Corporate Mum by day, aspiring writer whenever I can fit the chance in, which often means late night writing sessions.

Not many people can afford to give up their day job and write. A lot of my writer friends have young children so they are not in the workforce, but believe me that doesn't always equate to more time to write. The fact of the matter is you have to be committed if you want to be a writer (and I don't mean to a mental asylum). You have to be prepared to make sacrifices and live a double life.

Some thing's gotta give. If you try to juggle it all then you're going to drop the ball. On top of working and looking after my kids and husband, at the moment I'm trying to:

  • Coordinate a book launch and associated writers' workshops
  • Finish a short story for an anthology I've been invited to write for.
  • Finish a short story for a competition.
  • Undertake request manuscript revisions from potential agents.
  • Turn a short story that placed in a national competition into a novel.
  • Write another short story for a Christmas horror anthology.
  • Finish another novel.
  • Block out the voices that try to distract me with new projects when I haven't finished my old ones.
  • Write my blog posts (better late than never).

One of my writing spots with no internet access

Crikey! That's a lot to stuff into my few hours of week I get for writing. So how the heck am I going to do it? My plan is to go on a social media exile (well at least try not to live on it for the next few weeks), do some writing away from the house (and the internet) and prioritise - what is most import, what commitments have I made, is anyone else relying on me?

At work we talk a lot about work/life balance and there has to be writer/life balance too.

So - how do you make time to write? Any secret places you like to go or tips?


  1. Oh, Sharon, I'm having an anxiety attack just looking at your "to do" list!!! Yes, prioritize and have a break from social media, which is a total time-suck.
    It's so true about writers leading a double life. We can't really call it our job and demand more time until we're getting paid for it, so we have to fit it in like a hobby and it's hard. Writers must be determined, and have major love for their stories to keep going. I wish I had some advice, but I'm just as lost as you, girl. Though maybe not quite as tired...

  2. I'm a late night writer, too, but I actually prefer writing at home. I don't like being in public place and feeling like people are watching me, even though they're not, haha. Since Hunted was contracted, I've been blogging less, which stinks, but I have yet to find a good balance. Hopefully I'll find it soon.

  3. Working full time means lunch-breaks, evenings and weekends are my writing time. If I'm on a later shift, I'll chip away at my editing by night too.

    I try and have a collection of blog posts ready to go to free up time. It's quite useful when I'm especially busy or working overtime.

  4. I steal time wherever I can. I have 2 small kids plus a more-than-full-time job, so I have to. I get up at 5.30am to get an hour or so in before the kids get up, and I work late at night on the nights I'm not working. I steal the ten minutes between phone calls at work, the five minutes I can grab while the kids play in the bath.

    It's a challenge, but if you really want to do something, you'll find the time to do it.