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How to Make Time for Freelance Writing When You Already Have a Full-Time Job

Updated on February 14, 2012

A Full Schedule

How can you fit writing into a schedule already packed with another full-time job, kids, a spouse, and other responsibilities? It is challenging, to say the least. But if it's you dream, it can be done. Follow these tips and you will be on your way to achieving your dream.

Know Your Schedule

The first step in finding time to write is knowing what you are doing with your time. Take a week and jot down everything you do and the time you start and finish. After the week is up, review your log. Look at how you spend your time. Using a highlighter, mark these three things:

1. Activiites or jobs you can delete or delegate. Are there things you are doing that you can either give up or hand off to your kids or friends? This can free up some valuable time to devote to writing.

2. Activities that you can combine with writing. This can be a long commute where you don't drive, your mother's doctor appointment where you sit in the waiting room for hours, or even doing laundry at home. Look for ways you can sneak in writing time. I even write while I watch television. I have to edit later, but it becomes productive time for me.

3. Wasted time or time you can utilize for writing. For me, this meant getting up earlier in the morning on some days. I can't do that everyday, but I can promise one or two mornings a week. What about the time you spend browsing on the internet or updating your status on Facebook? While you don't want to get rid of every fun activity, you want to review it to see if it's worth keeping.

Organize Your Schedule

Once you find areas that can be used for writing, block them off. You don't have to find a lot of time at first. Look for a few hours a week and guard it as precious. Put it on the calendar like you would any other appointment.

If your goal is to become a full-time freelance writer, you will have to start small and work your way up. You may not be able to find more time right now, but you can start saving money so that you can quit your full-time job in the future.

Figure out how much money you would need to put in a savings account for at least six months' to a year of expenses. Put as much of the freelance income towards that as you can. This will be encouraging to you as you add to it and know your crazy schedule is only temporary.

Gain Experience

Since you may not be able to increase the time you have available for writing as long as you have another job, you will have to increase the amount you get paid. To do this, you need to keep learning about the area of writing you want to do. Your first paying jobs may be small, but you can work your way up to higher rates as you learn more about the business.

Find time in your schedule to read articles or blogs from other writers to improve your skills. You may not have much time to devote to this, but with smartphones and other mobile devices, you can squeeze in a few minutes at a time. It may be standing in line at the grocery store or picking your kids up at school. Continue learning and improving your skills and you will make more money as a writer.

Don't Give Up

It will take longer to succeed as a freelance writer when you have another job, but you can do it. You have to manage your time and make writing your goal, but it will happen. I've learned to be flexible with my schedule and constantly adapt to changes, but I always make my writing a priority in my life. I still have the dream of getting up in the morning and going to work at my computer instead of driving to an office. That dream keeps me going when I want to quit!

Hang in there and your dream will become a reality.

Writing Time

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    • jm72writes profile image

      jm72writes 6 years ago from Missouri

      Writing for pleasure is the hardest part for me. I've been writing for businesses, which I enjoy and it pays the bills, but I'd love to write mysteries and children's stories. It's hard for me to justify that time when I have other projects waiting for me. At least writing here on HubPages is a fun outlet for my creativity. I have to remind myself of my own tips sometimes!

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I used to work full-time as a freelance writer/proofreader, and while I love working at HubPages, I do sometimes struggle with finding time to write now (even just for pleasure!). Thanks for your tips.