Life is busy.
For this post I wanted to talk about what it’s like to work full time and have time to write.
I am not sure if I had mentioned it in one of my older posts, but for my day job I work full time as an engineer for a company. To give a brief insight, I have been an engineer for about seven years, and in those years, I have ventured myself into writing for the past four years. Two of those years were not consistent because of the position I was in.
Sometimes, for my day job, I would be working 12-14 hour days and start again the next day all over again. Five years ago, all I wanted to do when I came home was to not think, take a shower, and mindlessly watch a movie.
I consider myself incredibly lucky because my husband was the one pushing me to follow my dreams. I used to wish to the wind or a dandelion to be a writer and read more, but never had the time to do so. That’s when my husband got me an iPad with a keyboard and during the weekends, he told me: You alone have the power to make that wish come true.
I then started with the excuses, well we have to go grocery shopping, take out the trash, or do something, and he would simply say I’ll do it. You write and read.
Quite frankly, I was terrified to write because I had no idea where to start. I didn’t know how to write an outline or anything, but the power of google came and saved me. I read blogs and I just simply found my love for reading again, and once I started I couldn’t stop.
But then, of course, my day job was still draining me mentally (It still does that). Because one thing is that as much as I love writing and it’s absolutely my passion, it takes mental strength to do it. You, as a writer, are thinking and choosing carefully every word and don’t even get me started on editing. For this particular predicament, what I tend to do is right after I take a shower, I take 5-10 minutes to meditate, leave the headspace that is my day job and enter to my writing world.
From Hobby to Career.
The moment when everything changed was when I took my writing hobby and decided to make it a career.
Writing as a hobby is an absolute pleasure and I only wrote whenever I wanted, hence the two years of not doing it consistently. Which was completely fine. Writing is an escape and even if you are journaling or writing thoughts, just for you, it is a gift to have the ability to express your creativity and imagination through words.
Trust me when I say this, not everyone can write and not everyone has the imagination to create a story or express their creativity.
So, to anyone who tells you anyone can write a book. They are lying.
What made me decide to make it a career? Yes, I wrote that right, decide. I decided to hone my craft and pursue publishing out of pure love for my stories, and to change someone’s life, if only for a moment.
As I read more, more lessons from books stuck with me and others helped me escape into the author’s world. I wanted to do that for someone else. That was the pivotal moment for me. It was also my beta readers. After they finished reading the book, two of them told me: I want to follow your career, send me book two when you finish. And I was like, Oh, goodness! I have written four books… people are reading this and I am trying to get published. This is not a hobby anymore. This is a career and part of my future.
But sometimes, my day job and my writing schedule don’t get along.
I can go on and on about how I manage my time and when do I find the time to write, but to be completely transparent is that I sacrifice other things so I can write. I remember so clearly when I made that choice and was okay by making sacrifices. I was hiking in Montana and I had an encounter with a bear. Yes, a bear, and literally one of the things that crossed my mind was I can’t die right now, my stories need to be read, among other things.
So from then on, the little extra time that I have at night I use it for that, to write and read. I don’t watch TV anymore, unless I am too burned out and I really need time to let my head go blank for new ideas. Also, during the weekends, I write and read. I made writing part of my routine to the point that now, if I skip a day, I feel prickly.
For example, there was one day that I had worked 13 hours, and I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was take a shower and sleep. I honestly pushed through and wrote a sentence. And that was enough for me to say I wrote that day.
But, regardless of the sacrifices, I consider myself privileged and lucky that I am able to write every day.
Wherever you are on your writing journey, remember that everyone is different. For two years I was writing whenever I felt like it and that was okay. At the time, that was what I wanted, and then I made the change to prioritize my writing and become consistent. And this goes also for when you see posts on Twitter about people writing faster or having deals and you don’t. Every path is unique and at the end of the day, writing is a passion and a gift.
“Don’t write for money. Write because you love to do something. If you write for money, you won’t write anything worth reading.” Ray Bradbury.
Alexandra Garcia is a Romance author. She currently lives in Texas with her 2 pups: Jett and Maggie. She is currently editing her 4th WIP (Work in Progress) and just like all her novels she is a constant work in progress.
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