A writer’s ideal world would be making enough money from their writing to write full time and give up their day job. I’ve seen countless writers say this on blogs or writing forums, but what’s the reality? It seems the odds of ‘the big break’ are about the same as winning the lottery! That’s not to say all of us writers and poets out there must despair. Quite the opposite, actually.

A blurred line between day job and writing...

A blurred line between day job and writing…

A good day job doesn’t necessarily have to affect writing time. It really depends on what you do. I’ve read a lot of famous writers’ bios and most of them took the route that I think is best to maximise writing time: working in a school. I had a lovely 6 week break from the end of July and cranked out quite a lot of work during that time. Now that I’m back for autumn term, it doesn’t have to be all brown-leaves-and-winter-despair, to get poetic with it all. Setting goals helps and making time to write, not finding time. If you wait for time to come to you, you’ll be lost amidst all those blank pages – forever.

...can be fixed by working on your lunch break!

…can be fixed by working on your lunch break!

Of course, it’s a fine balance. You have to do your day job, first and foremost… the bills won’t pay themselves (I wish). And you can’t ignore your colleagues. One too many times, I’ve been caught up in my writing with my headphones on and being completely anti-social. Juggling writing with a full time job takes balance. Anything extra is a bonus. As for me? I count myself lucky that I can do what I love at work and after – running my young writer groups by day and writing alongside my partner-in-rhyme (I apologise for the terrible pun!) Joseph Robert by night. After all, a writer writes, then eats and sleeps (often in that order). Remember to get up for stretches regularly, all you type-a-holics. And for those of you who write longhand – don’t get knuckle cramps. I speak from experience here; I had a productive summer, since the mind is always willing, but sometimes the body can’t cope!

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/75c5a1ad6956/leilanie-stewart-author-info

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