Friday, April 1, 2011

Juggling Two Careers: Writer or Librarian?

In finishing the second draft of my novel and figuring out where to network and make connections, my writing pursuits are starting to turn into a full-time career. In this process, I am increasingly finding that the demands of my day job are starting to clash with the pursuit of my dream job. The sad part is, I'm not even in a tenure-track position (those of you who are have my sympathies!). If I were to take one, I'd have more pay to supply my writing habit (and networking possibilities) but less time to actually write creatively (with the pressures of academic publishing and other ephemera that come with tenure-track requirements). So: what do we do when the demands of our day-job clash with our dream job? And how does one find the time to keep organized, and still leave time for other important life demands, like family and marriage? For answers to this query, I consulted "Dr. Google" and came across this article that focuses on television writers (beware profanity) and sums up some possible solutions. The message is this. Have no time? Make it. Set up a disciplined routine and stick to it, like you would for any other career. I'm reminded of one of my writing instructors who would set his alarm for 5 am and squeeze in a few hours of writing each day. This might be harder for some of us non-morning people, but we will only see the fruition of our efforts if we put in the work to begin with. The same article argues that it's also vital for an aspiring writer to "give up things that are important." This is where I disagree. Balance can be found, and it is just as imperative to value your loved ones as it is to value your career as a writer. It is equally important to relax, recharge, and find time to experience life. This will not only help your well-being, but also your writing. How can you write accurately about a beautiful sunset if you never experienced one? How can you write characters if you never meet them on the street, in a bar, or at the store? So should you find extra time to write? Absolutely. Should you also take the time to relax, give yourself, a break, and spend QT with your loved ones enjoying life? Absolutely. -The Writer Librarian