Writing a novel is hard. Writing a novel while going to school or work full-time can be even harder. However, it is not impossible. There will be tears, frustrations, struggles, and more, but the end result can and will be absolutely amazing. Previously, I wrote a blog article where I discussed four ways you could balance writing with everything else. Today, I'm going to give you four more tips.
-Communicate: Some writers, myself included, can be incredibly shy when it comes to spreading the word about our WIPs. We may be hesitant to tell close friends or family members. However, those important people in our life can't respect our writing times if they don't know. Clue them in. Ask them to respect the times you set aside for writing. Be firm. If week after week they still continue to invite you places, respectfully remind them of your end goal and the times you've set aside to help you reach that goal.
-Make Good Use Of Your Free Time: Throughout the day, we may have short breaks of free time. These breaks might not be long enough to write, but can we use that time to research some articles on writing or connect with other writers on social media? What about during our commute to work or school? Can we listen to a writing podcast or an audiobook in our chosen genre? Be sure to also take advantage of longer breaks. During lunch, one or two times a week, can we write instead of talk with our workmates or schoolmates?
-Take Advantage of Free and Paid Resources: You don't have to spend a lot of money to educate yourself in the art of writing. Go the to library and purchase writing craft books. Take advantage of giveaways for educational writing and publishing courses, webinars, and books. Then, as you learn more and improve your craft, spend a little bit more to invest in local writing classes, discounted courses, or purchase your favorite writing resources. Investing in such things may take a little bit of discipline, and I'm definitely not asking you to do so every day, but making time to educate yourself one or two days a week will help you immensely.
-Compartmentalize and Have Rewards: Break your big goals into smaller chunks so they will be more manageable. Maybe you have a goal of finishing your novel in two months. Set weekly writing goals to help you get there. Maybe you hope to self-publish in six months. Dedicate a certain amount of hours weekly to researching the self-publishing process and crossing two to three things off your list every month. Whenever you accomplish one of these smaller goals reward yourself with something equally small such as a night out, a movie, your favorite snack, or something else. Then, when you reach your big goals, reward yourself with something big such as a new desk, a new website, a book buying spree, a writing course, etc.
I hope this blog post, and my previous one, will be helpful in helping you balance writing with a school or work. If you have any other questions or additional tips, please leave them in the comments down below!