Author with a Day Job Survival Guide: tips to maintain sanity
People ask me all the time how I sustain two full time jobs: one as a writer and one as a librarian. Usually, I say, “I have no idea.” However with further thought, I realized I have a set of guidelines I *try* to follow to keep me from going around the bend. Here they are:
- Stop writing at 11pm on a work night. I’m a night owl, so this can be tough for me. Even if I can’t sleep, I try to make myself stop writing.
- Don’t check work email when you’re off the clock. This is not always possible depending on what crisis is going on at the library. Yes, there are library crises… trust me.
- Treat your lunch hour as sacred time. Use it for exercise, sleep, or writing business. Do not work through it, which can be very easy to do. When I really want to escape during my lunch hour, I’ve been known to sleep in my car.
- Find the humor in your life. The fact I have to sleep in my car for peace and quiet is kind of funny.
- Use break times for social media and pressing writing-related emails.
- Leave your work problems in the parking lot. Don’t fret about the day job issues at home. Again, this is not always possible.
- If you can afford it, pay for help at home. I hired a family friend to clean my house. Honestly, I don’t have the time to do a really deep cleaning that it needs, so she comes every three to four weeks. I always get a little misty when I come home to a clean bathroom.
- Remember vacation time is precious. As tempting as it is to use all your vacation time for writing conferences and book signings, don’t do it. You need a break. Go on a real vacation with sun, sand, and a good book you didn’t write.
- Remind yourself why you work so hard. In my case, it’s for my niece and nephew. I work two jobs with the hope someday they won’t have to.
- Eat a cupcake. You deserve it for sure.