Writing, Work and School

I used to write short stories when I was both studying full-time and holding a part-time job. It is not easy. I wasn’t even in university then, so I can only imagine how much harder it is for those people who are both studying full-time in university and holding a part-time job. Sure, many part-time jobs become reflexive after a while, which means that you can brainstorm story ideas while working. But even then, it’s not easy having your thoughts interrupted all the time or thinking of such a great idea and having to wait until your shift ends to go write it down.

Now, I wasn’t one of those people who worked part-time every single day because the travel time between school and my workplace was about two hours long. If I got out of school later than 5PM, there really wasn’t a point in working since the place I worked only had shifts ending at 11PM, and I would also have to factor in the time for me to eat dinner. On days that I both went to school and work, then came home to write, this was what my schedule looked like:

8AM-3PM: School
5PM-10/11PM: Work
11PM-12:30AM: Homework/revision
12:30AM-1/2AM: Writing

Is there any wonder that I wasn’t able to keep up this schedule for long?

Recently, I’ve just gotten a job that I’m working almost full-time hours for. Some days, I feel lucky if I can stay awake in front of my laptop long enough to read an e-mail. I do what I can — I try to write at least one blog post every single day before or after I go to work. It’s not ideal and I would definitely like to be able to work on my manuscript (or even my fanfiction), but it’s better than not having a job.

Unfortunately, this is far from abnormal. Creative work in general tends to not pay the bills. If you’re a budding writer or artist or performer, please never feel embarrassed that you have to take up a day job. It has nothing to do with your worth as a person pursuing a creative career. It’s just a part of the package that a lot of us have to deal with. It can feel like a thankless job for a very long time, but there will be someone who eventually finds your work and will appreciate it. I never get comments or shares (that I know of) myself, but I keep going because I know that one of my friends checks this website regularly and wants me to keep writing.

Hang in there and keep going.

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