I think I've talked about this before, but I feel it bears repeating for those of you who've recently joined me.
Whether you are writing as a second job - or your only job, if you write as a business you need to write EVERY DAY.
The common mistake I think writers make is they try to 'fit' writing in with their daily routine. This sets them up for a fall, regardless of their intentions. If writing is a job (as opposed to something you do for fun and if being published happens - yippee) then you have to SHOW UP every day. This doesn't mean you might come to work, or you come to work when you feel like it. Show up means you schedule a time when you will park your butt in your chair and write! Whether it's during your lunch hour at Job 1 or at night while your husband is watching TV, pick a time and park it!
Okay, I'll step off the soap box now and help you with what I think might be your biggest obstacle in the over-all plan of showing up for Job 2.
Do you know your most productive time? That is, when can you sit down to write and get the most accomplished?
I used to belong to a group where we met in a Yahoo Instant Message chat room all day on Fridays. Some had other jobs and could only meet in the evening or during their lunch hour... but they showed up! Others of us were able to participate all day long. We began at 9 a.m. and went until 10 p.m. We did 30 min word sprints with 15 minute breaks, broke an hour each for lunch and dinner. Because time zones varied, some of us might be writing while others were eating and vice versa. But we were writing!
I was able to write every day. But by tracking my word count for each sprint, I noticed something. I found my MOST PRODUCTIVE TIME - or MPT.
My word counts for sprints early in the day were very low, barely breaking 200 words in 30 minutes some times! But as the day wore on, the word counts slowly climbed. Then about 4 p.m. I found them jump drastically, writing as much as 800-1000 words per sprint! Wow! So why was I unable to do that all day long? I have no clue. Sometimes Why isn't as important as just knowing the What.
What I discovered was that my brain does not process big chunks early in the day because I'm multi-tasking the other house stuff. You know, the dishes, laundry, floors, etc that we have to deal with every day. But by 4 p.m. when real life was out of the way, I could dump the words and focus on my story.
So now, I use the daytime for short pieces. Short stories, blog posts, promotion, transcribing interviews, etc. Basically, all the things concerned with the freelance end of my job. Then at night when the words can flow in bigger chunks, I sit with my novel and write like crazy for about 3 hours.
Here's my challenge for the next week. Every time you can sit and write, whether it be at home, at work, during the kids' sports game, whatever... make note of the situation and your word count. Do this every day for a full week. At the end of the week, look back at which times you were getting the most words written. From this little assignment you will find your Most Productive Time (MPT) and how to make the most of that time to be successful at your job.