Sunday, March 25, 2012

Taking a 9-5

Munch really captured how most writers feel about taking a day job.

Most freelance writers have worked hard to stay away from offices, mandated work hours, and employment requiring new clothing purchases. For many years, I was firmly in this group.

However, the need for shelter and food can sometimes interfere with your most dearly held ideas about employment. Perhaps you believe that if you do what you want, the money will follow, but while you're waiting for the money, it's nice to have electricity.

Six months ago, I joined the ranks of the 9-5. After ten years of working for myself, this has been a profound shock to the system.

Once upon a time, I did the one thing most writers long to do: I left a full-time job to be a freelance writer.  Now, I find myself in the opposite position, having to do the one thing most freelancers dread: spend eight hours a day on someone else's time.

I'm lucky because my new day job has a lot in common with the writing I do. I'm a travel writer and my job is related to the tradeshow industry. And the volume of daily email and other written tasks keeps me on my toes as a writer. Even after six months, though, I'm still working on my time management. That part is tough.

The hardest part? Keeping a love of writing alive. When you're busy, it's easy to feel like writing is yet one more task on a never-ending list.

Are you a freelancer who's recently had to take on a second job? How do you balance your time?
Photo courtesy of Ian Burt; photo of the Edvard Munch original painting.

No comments: