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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Treat your lunch hour as sacred time. Use it for exercise, sleep, or writing business. Do not work through it, which can cupcakepicbe very easy to do. When I really want to escape during my lunch hour, I’ve been known to sleep in my car.
  4. Find the humor in your life. The fact I have to sleep in my car for peace and quiet is kind of funny.
  5. Use break times for social media and pressing writing-related emails.
  6. Leave your work problems in the parking lot. Don’t fret about the day job issues at home. Again, this is not always possible.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Eat a cupcake. You deserve it for sure.
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4 thoughts on “Author with a Day Job Survival Guide: tips to maintain sanity

  1. I’m right there with you. I hope I can get to the cleaning lady part. Picking up after my son is almost like a third job!

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