I’m not alone in this. Many of my close writer friends, except the few lucky “I have someone else bringing home the bacon” ones (you know who you are and I silently curse you J), struggle with this balancing act of full-time work and writing a novel. Every single day, those us who are balancing this tightrope have this conversation with ourselves. It goes something like this:
Me: “I’m so freaking exhausted. I just want to sit, eat an entire bowl of pasta, and watch two straight hours of The Voice.”
My writer muse: “Girl, don’t even go there. You know the skinny blonde country singer will win anyway. Why bother watching? And that carb loaded dish will go straight to your butt.”
Me: “But Usher is smokin’ hot. I need a muse to inspire my story. And this pasta’s a fake. It’s made out of corn and is wheat and gluten-free…it barely registers as food.”
My writer muse: “Why would it? That’s the crap they feed horses.”
Me: “And look at how sexy and lean they are.”
So maybe not everyone’s conversation goes exactly like this. But for me, it’s pretty typical.
Sometimes I win, sometime she does. My goal is to win more often than not. It’s a game I play and what helps a lot is that I figured out early on that I need tangible rewards. This is exactly what happened when I received the lovely cover to my upcoming release, Unexpectedly You, out August 26th. I immediately had it poster-sized, framed and then hung on my office wall. It’s a visceral reminder that I did it! I can do it again! It’s not impossible.
With this renewed oomph, I can happily hammer away at my business analyst job for eight hours before hopping the bus for my forty-five minute commute home. Once home, I can turn off the left brain activities and turn on the creative right brain, hoping it had survived another day of blistering boredom at the damn day job. Oh, the glamorous life of an author. Who needs Usher? Okay, maybe I do, but don’t tell her that.
What are some of your coping mechanisms for balancing your writing life with your full-time job? Share your magic.