The Challenges of Part-Time Writing

The challenges of part-time writing are far too many. Life feels like a busy circus the moment you step out of high school graduation ceremony. Once you start working, move towns, or start preparing for higher education, you get occupied with all sorts of things. And despite all these major life milestones keeping you swamped, you may still end up doing very little. (Millennials keep their schedules close and their procrastination closer, or so the stereotype goes.) Sun Tzu would be disappointed in those who want to write a book but haven’t finished even a line of it yet.

You have to start sometime, though. And we say the time is now! But starting a writing career, even a part-time one, is going to take a bit of work. Let’s take a look at what are some of the challenges you might have to face as a part-time writer.

Time management

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The biggest resource we have is exhausted in so many activities and appointments that we seldom get to do what we really love doing. Writing is an activity which demands a lot of time. And the kind of time you devote to it along with your day job just does not seem enough.

You are never going to “find” time to write, you’re just going to have to make time to write your book. [It’s  easier said than done, of course, but we have a tip below to help you find a stable writing routine.]

Meeting deadlines

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The sense of peace that settles in once you meet your deadlines in liberating. When you don’t meet deadlines (and this happens a lot when writing part-time) you feel infuriated — with yourself, your work and your life. It hampers your productivity even more.

Editing and proofreading

Most writers are not equipped with the skills or the time to efficiently edit and proofread their work. Even if you possess the technical skills to edit and proofread written text, reviewing your own work (especially if you’re doing so immediately after a writing session) is not the best idea, since your brain is prone to skipping mistakes.

When  it comes to editing and proofreading, a fresh perspective is a must. That’s why even the most gifted writers hire professional editors to edit their books.

Self-publishing authors and part-timers often skip this process of having their books professionally edited because hiring a good editor comes at a cost that might seem too great to someone who is juggling multiple professions at the same time.

But here’s the good news: if time is an issue, there is still a way out of this. You can collaborate with a freelance editor or a professional editing firm like www.papertrue.com.

Networking

Landing writing gigs is a demanding task. You have to put yourself out there and meet leaders in the real world and connect with them on the virtual world to showcase your work and convince them to hire you for their next project.

You are blessed if an editor likes your work and approaches you to write for their next magazine article. But when you approach one, it can be onerous to impress them and get yourself a deal.

It’s a good idea to spend some time networking with industry leaders in niches you want to specialize in. In an age where there is intense competition, networking and having connections allows you to stand out. A healthy mix of industry knowledge and technical skills will do your career wonders!

You can build your professional network by meeting people in person, and the internet allows you to build one online as well.

Maintaining a flow

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There’s nothing like “being in the zone” for athletes, and the same goes for writers as well. Ideas flow naturally, time disappears, and the story seems to write itself. Famous authors choose to become hermits for some time just to get the required peace to bring out the best in them. Such are the dreams of part-timer writers.

Writing in flow becomes iffy with all the preoccupations that you get caught up with. Inconsistencies, plot holes, and lack of logical connections start to form in the story unbeknownst to the writer. When all such faults are pointed out by beta readers, all the rewriting and editing can cause you frustration and hurt your confidence.

The best way to overcome this issue of sporadic writing is to set some time to write everyday. If setting a specific writing slot is something that’s out of the question for you now, you can start by deciding how long you want to write or a daily word count (depends on your style). Then find time to meet the goal you set.

Getting established

Priorities keep shifting when you pursue part-time professions. Your focus today is finishing a short story, by tomorrow you are on a flight to attend a conference. And that’s how your focus goes right out of the window.

Part-time or full-time, all writers yearn to establish themselves critically and commercially. With so many things to take care of, the path to being acclaimed in the writing world becomes prolonged.

Whatever it is you are writing — novels, novellas, short stories, self-help books, instructional books, self-publishing e-books or writing blogs, it takes time and experience to make them noteworthy of recognition and success. This requires a considerable amount of patience. And, like we said earlier, building a network of professional connections.

Time is a crucial factor in the realities of part-time writing. If you can structure your time — plan, organize and prioritize it effectively, you can evade all these challenges.

So, in summary, there are a handful of obstacles that may come your way if you wish to pursue a part-time professional writing career. We’re telling it to you straight not to discourage you, but to give you a realistic overview of what this career path looks like, so you can be prepared. So do what you need to do to meet your writing goals and you will soon excel at become a professional writer. We wish you the best of luck!

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