Your New Day Job

So, you want to quit your soul-sucking job to become a full-time writer, eh?  How bohemian! As someone who JUST made the bold leap, let me warn you:

the daydreams of waking up early, brewing coffee, eating a small breakfast, sitting down to work on your latest story as the sun, like a friendly neighbor, says hello through the window–are exactly that: daydreams.

The reality: you’ll wake up early, brew coffee, realize you’re still tired from staying up too late drinking with your buddies (because hey, you no longer work!), sleep in a little longer until your phone rings.  It’s the bill collector again.  Your coffee is cold.  You have no food in your fridge except condiments for food.  You sit by the window, hoping that just by positioning yourself there, your undeveloped characters will write their own plot lines. The sun screams. You whimper and hide your face under a book.

The truth is, in that scummy, underpaying 50-hour a week job, you had  every reason not to write (or, at least your friends in your writer’s group didn’t launch leaky pens at you during meetings). Then, there was simply no time or energy.

Without anyone to make your schedule, you have to devise your own– a far more difficult task than it seems.

The best way to avoid laziness is to write out a plan.

7 a.m. – 8 a.m.: Coffee & Reading

8 a.m. – 9 a.m.: Writing
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Check e-mail, play on Facebook, read writerly and news articles, research jobs (if necessary!)
10 a.m. – noon: Writing
noon – 2 p.m.: lunch, bikeride, clean, nap
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Reading
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Writing
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Send out work to publishers

The flipside to making your own schedule is IT’S YOUR OWN FREAKING SCHEDULE! Now stick to it unless you just LIKE eating mustard for breakfast and wasting precious time and talent.

Other suggestions: I know you’re crazy super popular, especially since all your alcoholic, nonworking friends want to hang out (read: not drink alone) every day. SILENCE YOUR PHONE.  At least while writing.  Close your web browsers, inbox, chatbox, PHOTO BOOTH (tehehe…guilty!).  And don’t feel bad for neglecting those friends. You still work 8 hours a day.  Now, it’s 8 hours of work you LOVE.

Oh, and remember to bathe.

If you need extra motivation: hang this death-threat of a photograph near your working space, and then just tryyyy to hide under that book.

La vie boheme!

–AK

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About kimmerlyaj

Hey, there! Thanks for reading my blog, Polished Pear Creative Editing. My name is Amanda Kimmerly, and I devote my time and talent to making manuscripts publisher-ready. If you have an unedited book, or have started one of any genre, please connect! www.polishedpearcreative.com. Cheers!
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10 Responses to Your New Day Job

  1. Christopher says:

    Nice article.

    That pictures not scary at all. Sorry. The one at the top made me want M&Ms. Was that the point.

    I often find myself making schedules when I have nothing scheduled for me, so i agree with the message here.

  2. Brandon Ney says:

    Rock! Now we know your schedule. Hahahaha! Guess who’s getting held accountable. : P

  3. Mom says:

    Nice plan. My thoughts and prayers are always with you.

    • kimmerlyaj says:

      Oh, Mom, I tried to tell you on the phone today. I put in my “two-weeks.” They asked if I would work part-time/hourly, and I agreed. So, not completely jobless. And, I’m still marketing for Robert (which, honestly feels more like a privilege than a “job”) So, no sweat, momma dearest. You’ll know this plan failed when I’m knocking on your door, holding suitcases. 😛

  4. rizzsterfyi says:

    I’m glad you’re going for it kid. No time like the present, right? I also wanted to add that a reeheeeally cool notebook and pen are awesome motivation for myself, and maybe for others as well? Anyone? Anyone?

    I also like to set up my work space with gadgets that keep my fingers moving when I am not actually, physically writing. That little number tends to trick my brain into thinking I’ve been on a focused, and on a “roll” the entire time I have been working. Best of luck to everyone!

  5. I do find that keeping a regular “work” schedule is helpful, i.e. getting up at the same time and heading into your “office” space. If you can keep it 9 to 5-ish, that can be a good idea, particularly if you need to interview people or do things that coordinate with the real world’s business hours, but definitely having regular times set aside is important. Some people even say that getting dressed as if they’re going to an actual job helps them stay focused, though I am quite the fan of working in my PJ’s. I mean, if you CAN, then why wouldn’t you, right?

    • kimmerlyaj says:

      thanks for the advice, Laura.

      I’m finding that my productivity is more reliant on caffeine content than attire. Lol. I’m curious, though… if I were trying to write a piece on superheroes, would it be helpful to dress as Wonder Woman? I might have to do a test-run. And then, because I’m poor, teach a class: theatrical research and writing. Costumes required. 😛

  6. mahjong says:

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I am experiencing subject with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting an identical rss drawback? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

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