Balancing day job with creative projects | #90
Finding time to do it all
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I have been readingnewsletter for a while. Before I read her interview on Creative Independent, I really admire how she managed to publish her fiction book Central Places when she is working in a full-time job at Vanity Fair. But in reality, she finished writing the novel before she started working there.
When it comes to big, amorphous tasks (like writing a book!), I find that I’m most motivated if I think of myself as a contractor with billable hours. I’ll decide how many hours I can dedicate each week or month to a “job,” log those hours as an event on my calendar, and then I literally set a timer—usually for 2 hour increments— and only let myself work up until the alarm goes off. Then I track these hours on a spreadsheet and decide how to adjust things for next month or whatever.
Delia recommended setting a goal for your project, which I start doing coincidentally with my fiction draft lately. My target is to finish my draft at 50,000 words. I am currently at around 5,800 words, which is quite mind-blowing.
What Delia is doing also suits my needs perfectly as I do not always have the motivation to write 1,000 words every day. I give myself the permission to rest if I finish writing the next newsletter and scheduling it to get sent, before the publishing date. Then I would work on the next newsletter or my fiction draft when I have the energy to do so. But I also made Saturday my day to work on my fiction or this newsletter for a few hours. It seems that it is the only way to ‘balance it all’.
Delia also points out that she is barely balancing everything that she is doing—write for Vanity Fair, do post-publication work for her novel, write her letters on Deez Links and everything else in between.
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