Recently, I was listen to a YouTube video on writing where the speaker told the audience to treat their writing as a full-time job. However, the speaker talked later on about their personal peak writing time being two to three hours before their significant other got home from work. Getting into semantics, that’s not treating your writing as a full-time job. Even if the person wrote seven days a week, that’s still treating your passion as less than working a minimum wage part-time job.
Now, I know that it isn’t feasible for many people to put in forty hours a week with writing. And the idea that treating your writing as a full-time job is meant to convey that you should be showing up every day to put words to paper or blank screen. But at least be honest where you are at.
Your chances at becoming successful largely depends on how much time you are truly devoting to your craft. And even then, it can still take years before you see any fruit from your activities. How much time are you actually spending per week honing your craft? If it’s only a couple hours a day, it’s highly unlikely you are going to make any significant traction.
To truly treat your writing as a full-time job means you are spending at least 40 hours a week if not more either learning or practicing your craft. J.K Rowling admits to writing ten to eleven hours a day often with a minimum of three hours on busy days.
If you are truly passionate about writing, you’ll find any spare moment you can to jot down the creative thoughts and ideas that come to you on a daily basis. It’s what we do, it’s who we are. Internally, we bleed for the opportunity to express our innermost reality to the outer world. We are writers, we write.
If you are having a hard time, take a long look at the beliefs and perceptions that you are telling yourself. Things like, “I just don’t have enough time,” “I’ll never be good enough,” or “I will, just let me check my social media/watch this funny cat video first.” Then, make a plan to combat these subconscious self-destructors with constructive actions to keep you on track.
I would challenge you to take a hard look at the amount of time you are spending each week with your writing process and make it a game to see if you can up the amount of time you spend pouring words onto a page. This week, keep track of the time you spend writing and see if you can increase the time by a half an hour or more the following week. Rinse, lather, repeat.