Can you write successfully on a part-time basis?
A while back, one of the writers on the This is Horror podcast was talking about doing just that very thing.
He had a busy life, children, and other priorities, so he was essentially a “write when I can” writer.
My own world
I teach full-time. This year, I’m teaching an extra class during my planning period. I’m wrestling coach and I am working on my Education Specialist degree. I’m a single father of three girls.
It is definitely catch as catch can. Life is busy, so writing, as a general rule, is a part-time endeavor.
How do I write part-time?
I kind of follow a couple of processes to keep my part-time writing career on task.
- I write late at night. I would do early, but I get up at 4:30 to head to school anyway.
- On breaks – summer, Fall Break, Christmas, etc., I load the writing up. I go full bore, getting as much in as possible.
- I take advantage of little snatches of time – my lunch break, riding in the car if someone else is driving, flying or riding the train, and just about anywhere else I can get 15-20 minutes in.
- Then there’s the commute time. Yes, I’m behind the wheel, but it is a good time to really think on a story, plot holes, twists, and more.
My advantage is my training as a journalist. I write very fast and can write right now. I can also write in fairly chaotic environments – I don’t need absolute quiet or perfect conditions to write.
I’m very fortunate in that regard and understand that not everyone can work that way.
Does it work?
It isn’t for everyone. But there are writers who make it work.
I’m fairly productive. I can’t speak to whether or not (probably not) it is the best writing in the world, but I do get a lot done, and in a short period of time.
For me, not only is part-time writing what I have, it also works. In a slow week, I can get 4,000 to 5,000 words written. On days when I have more time – summers for example – I can be far more productive.
It keeps me writing. And that’s what’s important.
Don’t forget, my mini-short story collection, The Shack and Other Stories, is available for Kindle and in paperback on Amazon, or available from your favorite e-retailer everywhere. Hope you’ll buy about 20 copies!