Writing With a New Job
New Year, new me (but not really 😉), new job!
I’m starting a new role at the beginning of February (still in the Caribbean) and as we dance into the unknown and take a leap into the future it has me thinking about writing when life around you is changing and uncertain.
I live from moment to moment with very little planning so, as you can imagine, I write surrounded by constant change a lot. Change is my home. It’s an old friend I wave and smile at in the street.
Without a doubt, though, keeping on with writing when everything around you is a question mark can be super hard! I’m only changing job, and to me that feels easy, but I know sometimes there can be a string of unknowns that accompany a career change
Anyway, here are some of my tips for writing when you have a new job (or life):
Prioritise Your Time
Nobody is capable of doing everything.
Sometimes we make it seem like we are all very capable of being online all the time, writing all the blogs, and then finishing three novels in a fortnight. This is entirely an illusion, but a powerful one all the same.
The secret to getting sh*t done is to not do everything. It took me 28 years to learn that so I’m not expecting you to go away, fasten your dressing gown closed, set down that cereal, and completely and utterly embrace this idea but, all the same, give it a try yeah?
Everyone works out their priorities differently. Ultimately you already know what those are, whether it’s passing this semester with the best grades or acing your new job. You also already know how long those will take. Gather together your priorities, maybe even say them out loud to yourself, and off you go.
When it Comes to Writing Don’t Push Too Hard
Sometimes there’s a real temptation to double down on the thing you’re certain about, and chase all of those words, but it’s important to take a step back and realise that there’s no need to quadruple your efforts just because the world around you is changing.
You don’t have to cling so hard to the things that you love that you end up crushing them. Writing isn’t going anywhere, and there’s so much around you that’s good and you should be present to enjoy!
Make sure to carve out some time for yourself — even if it’s only five minutes. Make sure to breathe. And, ultimately, make sure to trust yourself. You’re not going to run out of words one day. You’re not going to stop suddenly and never return (and hey, even if you do, I’m sure you’ll have a good reason for it).
I like to make sure I’m exercising and socialising around new things (and writing) because otherwise I start to feel my energy draining and my focus disappearing. But, whatever is your form of self-care DO THAT.
Change Your Habits
Look, before I started exercising and being a sports based person a few years ago I’ll admit it: 6am was just a concept that existed in my head. I’d never really seen 6am, let alone jumped out of bed for it. But people change, and so do their habits. I’m not saying I’m totally in love with 6:30am in the morning but there are real advantages to waking up a little earlier and getting in more time in the day for the things (and people) I love.
If you’re struggling to find time around a new job for anything, changing your habits can make all the difference. That doesn’t just have to be sleep, either. You could change the way you get to work to get in a run. You can change anything if you try.
Actually enjoy the new job
New jobs, new courses, new people, these are all very exciting things!
Make sure you’re actually present for what is happening around you and remember to enjoy the change. A change of scenery and environment can be so refreshing. I think that feeling you get on your first day at a place can rival the feeling of writing your first page — it’s exhilarating!