Why I Have to Write, Even While Working Full-Time

60 comments

I tell people I have a job and a half. My full-time job, the one that pays the bills and keeps me fed and able to see my doctor, that’s the one where I spend 40+ hours every week (plus commute). That’s my day-job, and that’s my priority right now.

That’s what I do.

My other job, the one to which I aspire to devote at least 15 hours a week and maybe I’ll earn a little coin so I can splurge and see a movie or order in, that can’t be my priority right now.

But that’s who I am.

My day job, while something that I really enjoy, is not what I ever pictured myself doing. And as much as I truly like it, it’s not as emotionally fulfilling to me as my writing. Honestly, I don’t think anything will ever make my heart soar and my soul stutter into place the way writing does.

No other job could so fully match doing with being for me.

I make time to write because if I don’t, I lose track of who I am.

But I’m not in a place where I can afford to live while devoting the full-time job sphere to my writing. I don’t have the connections to score the high-paying gigs, and I haven’t yet cultivated the talent to make good on them. For every essay that I write and love, I spend way too much time trying to find a place to take it.

In short, I have a day job because I’m not Roxane Gay, who can tweet her desire to write about a TV show (for pay), and within less than 24 hours she’s got an assignment. She fought for her place and her right to do that, with talent and wit and sheer determination, and I applaud that, and am more than a little envious, and it’s something I aspire to.

If I’m ever going to get there, though, I need to learn to write through my day job.

Which is proving harder than I ever would have thought imaginable.

I live off of to-do lists, and when I go to bed in the mornings (because I work a graveyard shift and my days and nights are upside down), I give myself a small list of writerly things to work on before I catch the train to my job. And on my nights off, I give myself a much larger list of things to do.

Because I’ve been making lists for a while, I’ve learned how to make them work for me: I have to do my work in small chunks, and I have to mix it up and schedule in down-time. So I’ll write an essay, read a book, critique a friend’s book, watch some TV, work on my novel, write a blog post…and so on, and so forth.

I thought it would be easy. I have my list, I know what I have to do, so I’ll just do it.

And yet I find myself struggling all the same. I don’t just have to work on my novels during my off hours; I have to work on my personal blog; on the group blog I help run; on freelance essays; on reading and reviewing ARCs; on reading and critiquing friends’ novels…

I want to do all of the above. Sincerely and wholeheartedly. It’s just that when I sit down to do it, my mind wanders. Or if I pause for a second, I can’t get back into the right mindset.

I’ve wasted countless weekends passing the hours by hitting “next” on Hulu and Netflix binge-watches.

I never feel good about those weekends.

Yet, every once in a while, I make the system work for me. I accomplish things. I write. And in those moments, I finally feel…complete.

Ugh, that sounds so cheesy, doesn’t it?

But it’s true. Writing is not just something I do, it is a core part of what makes me, me. And it’s something that I need in order to feel fully human, fully myself.

Sure, I can go without writing for weeks at a time and think everything’s okay. But the second I sit down and words begin to flow, it’s like…my brain wakes up again. My heart sings. And something goes, “Oh. Oh, this is how it could have been, all those weeks.”

I make time to write not just because it’s a part-time freelance career I’ve chosen, and it brings in some extra money.

I make time to write because if I don’t, I lose track of who I am. And I never want to do that.

Karis Rogerson

Column by Karis Rogerson

Karis Rogerson is a mid-20s aspiring author who lives in Brooklyn and works at a cafe—so totally that person they warn you about when you declare your English major. In addition to embracing the cliched nature of her life, she spends her days reading, binge-watching cop shows (Olivia Benson is her favorite character) and fangirling about all things literary, New York and selfie-related. You can find her other writing on her website and maybe someday you’ll be able to buy her novels.

To leave a comment Login with Facebook or create a free account.

Comments

Cam_petrie's picture
Cam_petrie from canada-west is reading Writing With Style- Silver Addition- John R Trimble August 16, 2018 - 11:38am

I am the same way with my writing life.

I'll binge on music videos and joints without watching my weekend. Which makes me feel guilty for not doing the thing that has helped me sort out my thoughts so well.

When I'm at work and I have ideas I usually text them to myself, instead of finding an app to write it on. It works better for me.

I like reading about other wirters writing struggles, it gives me less anxiety.

 

Taran Clarke's picture
Taran Clarke from Orlando, FL is reading The Bloody Chamber August 18, 2018 - 6:26pm

I'm seriously considering getting a day job again (I currently freelance), but the reason why I left in the first place was because I was so burnt out that I just stopped writing. And I couldn't not write. So I definitely relate to this article. 

I hope you find a good, steady balance between your writing and your day job. I love hearing about how people manage to make it work, but am also reassured whenever I'm reminded that I'm not the only one struggling.

Thanks for sharing your journey thus far. :)

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 24, 2021 - 12:33am

Great Information sharing .. I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. Dr. Robert MacArthur RM

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 25, 2021 - 1:51am

Awesome article, it was exceptionally helpful! I simply began in this and I'm becoming more acquainted with it better! Cheers, keep doing awesome! online only sugar daddy websites

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 25, 2021 - 5:46am

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. hypnotherapists near me

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 25, 2021 - 6:21am

Hi there! Nice stuff, do keep me posted when you post again something like this! Rent a car Beograd

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 27, 2021 - 2:21am

Wonderful article. Fascinating to read. I love to read such an excellent article. Thanks! It has made my task more and extra easy. Keep rocking. california lemon la

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 27, 2021 - 4:55am

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. delta 8 thc gummies

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 30, 2021 - 1:11am

I am thankful to you for sharing this plethora of useful information. I found this resource utmost beneficial for me. Thanks a lot for hard work. Mohamad Al Karbi

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 30, 2021 - 1:59am

Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work. buy antminer online

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 30, 2021 - 4:27am

It used to be you bought CPM (cost per thousand) in large-scale campaign Web site and hope that the good performance of these ads and get traffic to your website. Now, there are many choices, there is usually a for each event better than the other run. It appears that the use of network marketing the best way to get return on investment cost per click online marketing tool, the strategic point. https://www.marketing1on1.com/

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa May 30, 2021 - 11:46pm

nice post, keep up with this interesting work. It really is good to know that this topic is being covered also on this web site so cheers for taking time to discuss this! Animal Crossing New Horizons

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 1, 2021 - 3:14am

Your work is truly appreciated round the clock and the globe. It is incredibly a comprehensive and helpful blog. w88.com

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 2, 2021 - 12:08am

You have a real ability for writing unique content. I like how you think and the way you represent your views in this article. I agree with your way of thinking. Thank you for sharing. Kiss918 APK

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 2, 2021 - 4:36am

Keep up the good work , I read few posts on this web site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has sets of fantastic information. mi laptop review

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 2, 2021 - 6:28am

Fabulous post, you have denoted out some fantastic points, I likewise think this s a very wonderful website. I will visit again for more quality contents and also, recommend this site to all. Thanks. 토토사이트

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 3, 2021 - 12:23am

i was just browsing along and came upon your blog. just wanted to say good blog and this article really helped me. Rashmika Mandanna latest pics

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 3, 2021 - 1:35am

Thanks for your insight for your fantastic posting. I’m exhilarated I have taken the time to see this. It is not enough; I will visit your site every day. Casetastic telefoonhoesjes

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 5, 2021 - 1:36am

The writer has outdone himself this time. It is not at all enough; the website is also utmost perfect. I will never forget to visit your site again and again. ubidyne

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 5, 2021 - 5:04am

Wow, What an Outstanding post. I found this too much informatics. It is what I was seeking for. I would like to recommend you that please keep sharing such type of info.If possible, Thanks. Search Engine List

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 5, 2021 - 5:54am

Impressive web site, Distinguished feedback that I can tackle. Im moving forward and may apply to my current job as a pet sitter, which is very enjoyable, but I need to additional expand. Regards. bowie knife for sale

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 5, 2021 - 10:58pm

I am glad you take pride in what you write. This makes you stand way out from many other writers that push poorly written content. buy heroin online australia

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 6, 2021 - 12:55am

It is included in my habit that I often visit blogs in my free time, so after landing on your blog. I have thoroughly impressed with it and decided to take out some precious time to visit it again and again. Thanks. buy sildenafil in australia

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 6, 2021 - 3:05am

Thanks so much for sharing this awesome info! I am looking forward to see more postsby you! get more info

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 6, 2021 - 11:42pm

Today, I was just browsing along and came upon your blog. Just wanted to say good blog and this article helped me a lot, due to which I have found exactly I was looking. 威而鋼官網 - 壯陽藥

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 8, 2021 - 4:37am

The writer has outdone himself this time. It is not at all enough; the website is also utmost perfect. I will never forget to visit your site again and again. Heavy News

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 9, 2021 - 5:11am

Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Many thanks! bewin128.com/home/Default.aspx

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 12, 2021 - 4:36am

Wow, What an Outstanding post. I found this too much informatics. It is what I was seeking for. I would like to recommend you that please keep sharing such type of info.If possible, Thanks. cheap locksmith

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 12, 2021 - 5:23am

Wow, What an Outstanding post. I found this too much informatics. It is what I was seeking for. I would like to recommend you that please keep sharing such type of info.If possible, Thanks. forest bathing

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 12, 2021 - 6:10am

Thankyou for this wondrous post, I am glad I observed this website on yahoo. buy tiktok followers

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 13, 2021 - 12:16am

This blog website is pretty cool! How was it made ! http://www.climatiseur-mobile-sans-evacuations.fr

basitkhatri's picture
basitkhatri June 13, 2021 - 3:52am

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. ดูหนังใหม่ออนไลน์

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 13, 2021 - 4:01am

I got too much interesting stuff on your blog. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work. coloured leather jacket

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 13, 2021 - 6:43am

I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. Canninghill Piers Showflat Location

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 13, 2021 - 7:19am

Keep up the good work , I read few posts on this web site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has sets of fantastic information. judi slot

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 13, 2021 - 8:55am

Whoi, excellent, t wondered just how to cure icne. ind found your webstte by google, dtscovered todiy t'm i ltttle obvtous i greit deil. t’ve ilso idded RSS ind sive your webstte. keep us updited.Canninghill Piers Showflat

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 13, 2021 - 10:18am

Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post!The Watergardens Showflat Location

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 13, 2021 - 11:02am

I was very impressed by this post, this site has always been pleasant news Thank you very much for such an interesting post, and I meet them more often then I visited this site.Bartley Vue Showflat Location

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 14, 2021 - 12:11am

i am always looking for some free stuffs over the internet. there are also some companies which gives free samples. 먹튀검증

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 14, 2021 - 6:48am

I appreciate several from the Information which has been composed, and especially the remarks posted I will visit once more.Pasir Ris 8 Showflat Location

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 14, 2021 - 7:21am

Thanks for the tips guys. They were all great. I have been having issues with being fat both mentally and physically. Thanks to you guys i have been showing improvements. Do post more. The Commodore Showflat Location

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 14, 2021 - 10:15am

Incredible articles and awesome design. Your blog entry merits the greater part of the positive input it"s been getting. ceebook pin

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 15, 2021 - 12:43am

This type of message always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content, so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post. 14kgf

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 15, 2021 - 5:37am

All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks telegram directory

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 15, 2021 - 6:41am

Incredible articles and awesome design. Your blog entry merits the greater part of the positive input it"s been getting. Aufstellpools

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 15, 2021 - 7:09am

I truly value this superb post that you have accommodated us. I guarantee this would be helpful for a large portion of the general population. home improvement

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 16, 2021 - 3:45am

This type of message always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content, so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post. dmt vape pen

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 16, 2021 - 6:17am

I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. Chicago loans

yultetaspa's picture
yultetaspa June 16, 2021 - 6:57am

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! daftar togel online

Zaid Shaikh's picture
Zaid Shaikh June 16, 2021 - 8:58am

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. Stockholm