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This is the first time I've posted an entry on any forum! Glad I finally arrived into the 21st century.
What I'm struggling with is how to get back into writing. I have a bachelor's in journalism and spent 8 years writing - first at a business publication then for a non-profit association. About 7 years ago I made the jump to the corporate world and became a project manager. While it has been great salary wise, it's not a company where I can write and unfortunately, I haven't kept writing on my own time. I've recently gotten the bug to start writing again, but I don't know what the best avenue is. I have some ideas and don't know where to start. It's like all my creativity has gone down the drain being in corporate and I don't know how to get it back!
The other issue I face is finding the time to write. How do others juggle a non-writing, full-time job with writing on the side?
Any thoughts/suggestions/inspirations would be appreciated!
I'm kind of in the same boat... I've never had a job writing (except recently I had to write about 200 pages worth of procedure manuals, which was actually more fun than I thought it would be!) But I'm sitting at a computer all day at work, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit more at the computer!!! I have tons of story ideas I just need to sit down and work on.
The best advice is to just write. Anything. Take baby steps. Here on the PBS forums is a good place to start writing short things. In addition I have a website I try to post something new monthly. Write emails, letters, journals... eventually story/ article ideas will pop into your head and you're off and running!
If only we could turn off that TV....
Last Edited on: 3/17/09 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
I too have many story ideas and am trying to discipline myself to set aside a certain block of time for writing and to treat that block of time like a job.
When we have to go to work, we most often schedule errands and appointments around our obligation to go to work unless the appointment or such is absolutely necessary and can not be scheduled any other time. For a lot of people who have to take an appointment during their normal work hours or previously scheduled working hours (for those who are on rotating schedules such as retail employees) the time must be made up at work.
I am trying to obligate myself to setting hours for writing and treating it with the same seriousness. I am unemployed and have been so for over a year. I have become a full time student with the spring semester at our community college (I'm LOVING English class and essay writing) and I am the chief housecleaner, errand runner and cook at my home since my two adult children and my boyfriend all work and I don't. This is a full time job in itself, then I have school full time. Finding time to write is difficult.
I know that it is never going to be my job if I don't treat it like a job. The magic writing fairy isn't going to come pull my ideas from my mind and set them to paper for me.
One thing I have done is buy a portable digital recorder. It is small like a cell phone. I carry it in my purse. This way I can capture ideas when they come to me on the go. I get a LOT of ideas while I'm driving. Once I get home I can't remember what those great ideas were. The recorder has been a God-send. I have also been bad for jotting ideas onto post it notes. I mostly did this when I worked, rarely now. I had so much of my writing ideas on post it notes that my son threatened to come into my office and destroy all note pads. I've even jotted ideas onto napkins.
Trixie- Best thing I found is if you drive to your classes, get their an hour earlier, and sit their and write down all your ideas. Put a notebook in your car and stay in the car. I do National novel writing month, and found that sitting in the car was a perfect way to take down notes and write. I figured out its due to feeling like you're in a bubble already so drifting into writing mode is easy. When I do NaNO, I usually go to the group writing in's at a cafe, and rather then going home from work, I would go to a shopping mall carpark, park under a light or near a busy building and write for 2 hours. I was churning out around 3-4000 words in that time frame.
Putting aside a block set of time to write is very important, setting goals to meet also helps. I have a very competitive spirit so do alot of writing challenges on various websites. I do two 50,000 word in 30 days challenges a year and spend the rest of that time editing those drafts.
I don't know why I never thought to treat writing the same way I would my job or appointments. I think it's a great idea, as is writing in the car! I have a long drive to and from work, and often find myself sitting in a jam, so I will definitely take these suggestions to heart!
Thanks so much!