Except for that one time a few months back where I tried my hand at working outside the home and ended up quitting after a day (you can read about that HERE), I haven't been a part of the work force for almost 17 years. Yep, 17 years.
Don't get me wrong, I've done "stuff" like running an eBay store for over two years on my own, and then of course, working on my writing career. Not to mention raising three kids--the most important job of all. So it isn't like I've been home watching TV and doing nothing (Okay, I've had those days too). But still.
I've been thinking of finding a part-time job to supplement my husband's income. We've got growing kids with growing needs, and now that they're a bit older, I feel like this is a perfect time to jump back into the work force. I don't need a job, per se, but extra play money would be great (my daughter is a cheerleader... do you know how expensive that can be? EXPENSIVE. And I will have two teenagers next year. Two. That's not cheap).
Well, I found the perfect part-time job. It's with my local school district in their main offices. It's only 16 hours a week, two days a week. The hourly pay is awesome, better than I had anticipated when deciding to get out there and test the working waters. AND to top it all off, it's like five minutes away from my house, if that. It's near my children's schools. I get to dress in business casual (had to go shopping since I tend to wear pj's all day). It's absolutely ideal. I couldn't have asked for better. Really. Nothing better. The pay is great. The working environment will be great. The hours are great.
Then why the heck am I so freaked out?
This is a big step for me. My writing career is FINALLY starting to pay off, so I worry about the impact having a job, any job, will be on that. I do not want any job to take away from my writing. I believe I can make it work, using the other days of the week to focus on my writing, get caught up with email and that jazz. I should be okay. But I guess until I dive in, I won't truly know if it will work out or not. I'll have to give myself some time to adjust. It does make me wonder how others who work full-time manage to fit writing into their busy schedule. I know it can be done, but how?
I've been reading other blogs and gathering advice to ease my worried little head and have found some amazing tips that I plan to try and implement myself:
1) I can't wait for the muse to show up. I have to wrangle her and make her work during the time I have available.
2) I have to make time. As long as writing is important to me, there will always be time available even if I have to hunt it down.
3) I need to download some apps to my phone so I can keep track of ideas that might hit me while at work--Dragon Diction, Evernote, Index Card.
4) Know I'm not alone. Other writers out there work much longer job hours than I will and they seem to manage to write and publish books. I can do this.
Kensington author Diane Schmidt believes writing every day is important. "Always stay in it, even if it means using lunchtime, coffee breaks or early mornings or late nights. Just write!" She brings a printout of what she's worked on at night at home to the office and edits it over lunch. "That night I return to my computer and work on the notes/editing I did during the day. This usually takes me right back into the manuscript and away I go." "
5) I will need to make sure that what time I do have is productive. No internet, no email, or Facebook.
6) The dishes can wait. They'll still be there even if I'm home on a day off. An hour or two isn't going to hurt a thing. I need to make sure I'm not so busy doing laundry and cleaning that one of my free days slips by without me putting my fingers to the keyboard.
I know that I can do this. Really, I do. But I think because I'm sitting here still in the unknown (my new job starts on Monday), it's hard to imagine how it will all work out. Will my family be okay with this new change? Will my writing be okay?
Of course they will. I'm certain of it. That doesn't mean I'm not nervous, though.
If you're a writer who works a job as well, how do you balance it? What are some tips you'd recommend?