The 9 to 5 lifestyle: go to the office, do your work; leave the office, leave work behind. In some ways it has its advantages, something I thought I could bring with me when I decided to work for myself.
A while back I found myself able to live my dream of becoming a full time writer. Excited at the possibility of putting my heart and soul into my new position, I created a cozy writing space in my home. I had the best of intentions, and readied my days for long hours of writing and editing, pouring my heart and my inspiration into everything I wrote. Then the challenges began.
I could stare at the screen for hours, never getting more than a word or two out at a time. Yet the moment I would leave my workspace and do something just for me, that’s when true inspiration would find me. Very quickly I realized that as a full time writer, I would never have a 9 to 5 job ever again.
Writing doesn’t work that way. Writing is a process that extends beyond the time you spend behind a computer screen, fingers touching the keys. To become a writer means always thinking about how your words will come together. It means cultivating ideas from every thing I do, watching stories grow and come together in my mind.
I have learned several things in my time as a writer; things that have helped me become more efficient with my writing process.
Limit my writing time
While I need creative time to write each day, its equally important to have time for other things. Health, wellness, relationships – they all have an equal place in my life.
Block time for more purpose
I value the time I spend on each area of my life each day. When its writing time, I write. When I spend time with family, I’m ever present. I believe in blocking my time into chunks for more purpose and more focus.
Build ideas from what inspires you
What inspires me? Travel. Cooking. Being the best I can be. And as I discover myself through all of my activities, I find I become more inspirational as a writer, with more to give to what I do.
Find what has meaning in your life
Some of my happiest times involved places and events that allowed me to discover the best of me. They continue to inspire me today, giving me viewpoints and perspectives that make my writing more real and more vivid.