When you work a day job how do you find time to write books?

day job


For most Indie writers the question is: If you don’t work a day job how can you afford to write books?

In my case, I have worked the same day job for over a quarter of century.

I practice law as a solo practitioner in a small town in East Texas. A lot of people don’t realize it, but my job is no different than that of most small business people.  I’m the chief cook and bottle-washer, the one where the buck stops.

If a person’s day job involves punching a clock somewhere, she is in the same situation.  For a large part of the day she must be devoted to someone else’s agenda. Most employers would take a dim view of an employee who left her duties to pursue her own vocation, i.e., writing books.

So, how does a person find time to write books when she spends eight to ten hours a day on a day job?

It should come as no surprise that there is only one answer to the question.

She must discipline herself and carve out a block of time when she’s not on the clock.

All of us Indie writers know the difficulties that segregation of daily time presents.

Most of us do not live in isolation.  When we are at home we face the time constraints created by family.  We have kids to get off to school, spouses to spend time with, chores to complete. By the end of a sixteen hour day, we have little energy to devote to a blank page that stares at us wanting to be fed.

As the Nike commercial says, Just do it.

“That’s a harsh answer to the question, Steve,” you say.

Yes, it is.

But I’d rather be harsh and true than soft and a liar.

Most of the great books written in the last hundred years or so originated from authors who worked day jobs and wrote in the middle of the night.

I haven’t researched that last statement, but I know in my gut that it is true. I know it because the only writer worth his salt is the one who cannot resist the compulsion to put words on paper.

Without that compulsion, the would-be author will never get the job done. It’s too easy not to write. For an author the process is not about how many copies of his work will sell. It’s about the story inside her that must be told, whether or not anyone ever reads it.

An author finds time to write regardless of the pressures the rest of his life generate.

Otherwise writing for him is just a hobby.




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