This past week, I started a new nine-to-five office job that has nothing to do with writing. But also this past week, I’ve gotten a lot of work done on my novel-in-progress.
One of the fears I had during my job hunt was that when I got something, I’d been too busy to find time to write. The opposite was true. When I had no job to occupy my time, I’d often think I had all the time in the world to write, and because of it, I didn’t really have a strict writing routine—and because of it, I wasn’t doing much writing. It was just a helter-skelter “I feel like writing right now” kind of thing. It wasn’t working.
But taking on a full-time job has helped my writing tenfold. I work during the day, a typical desk job where I enter data into a database for seven hours a day (with a break for lunch!), and then when I get home, I write.
Now that my time is taken up by this outside obligation, I feel like there’s less time to get stuff done writing-wise. I have to work on my novel every night, otherwise, it won’t get done. There’s no other time to write or edit or think up new ideas and plotlines and character arcs and everything everything everything. With the new limited amount of time I have, I have to squeeze in now what I could simply spread out before.
So this post is a little shorter than the rest, just because of my new and improved schedule. I’m focusing more on my big projects (AKA, the novel in progress) than I am the little ones (Odyssey articles, short stories, blog posts, etc). This job has taught me a valuable lesson: time is limited, no matter what fills it. Focus and prioritize and squeeze in your writing wherever it fits, because if you don’t, that’s time you’ll never get back—unless time travel becomes possible in the near future and you can go back in time to the time you lost, but then again you’d still be going back in time as your present self (or future self, depending on how you look at it) so you’re really just taking up more of your present (or future) time whilst in the past time and time travel is confusing and complicated and now my brain hurts so just don’t waste your time at all and you won’t have to worry about if you’ll ever get the chance to get back that time in the future because you won’t.
Just fill the time up with writing, no matter how much you have. Don’t worry about time travel paradoxes.