How to Write With an Office Job

When you spend eight (or more) hours at the office, it can be hard to come home, plant yourself behind another computer, and work on a book. There's family to spend time with, errands to run, movies and TV to watch, and sleep to enjoy. Here are five tips on how to make a book happen, without quitting your day job:

1. Write when you can
If you're an early bird, wake up half an hour early in the morning, just to write. Bring your laptop or a printed copy into work and write during your lunch break. Set aside an hour or even half an hour in the evening when you get home. This is my preferred writing time. Sometimes it happens later than others but as long as I'm sitting at the computer, I always try to get my words in.

2. Make your word/page count goals easily achievable 
If you use word count goals to motivate yourself to write, make these easy to achieve. I shoot for 250 words on work nights and busy weekends, and 1,000 words on days when I have more time. It's nice for me to have something short to aim for on nights when I'm tired or it just isn't happening. On nights when the words are flowing well, I often write more. 

3. Consider printing your manuscript
Especially when your working on revisions, having a printed copy of your manuscript can help you find time to work on it. My wife likes to carry hers in a binder and read it on her lunch break or when she's stuck somewhere for a while. 

4. Carry a notebook, always
Keep a pocket sized notebook with you at all times, to jot down ideas as they happen. I often use the tedious hours at work as a chance to brainstorm future scenes on my WIP or ways to solve issues with my revisions. 

5. Give yourself permission to have off days
Some days you're going to be too busy or too tired or just plain writers' blocked. That's okay. It's going to happen. Take the day off and come back to writing later.

When you've been at work all day, what helps you write?

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