Maybe quitting isn't the right choice.
I put this post up on a Friday on purpose. Those of you sitting in the day job today are counting the seconds until you hit the door and go home. It's eating at you. You probably aren't focused on your work for thinking about weekend activities, or complete lack of in order to relax.
So what are your options to grab time to write . . . away from the job?
Yes, quitting is always an option. But I counsel people that they have to leave one job FOR something else already carefully laid out. Another job? Freelance work already lined up? Part-time work in lieu of full-time? You never quit and THEN wonder what you'll do. It's like writing a book, publishing it, and THEN wondering how to promote it. Too late at that point. You're sure to face a difficult time.
2. Negotiate work hours.
Altering your work hours can mean one of several options.
- Ask to work part-time instead of full-time. Getting off work two hours earlier each day might be the time you need to write that novel.
- Ask to work part of the time at home. Some employers let you take projects home, or make calls from home. The time you don't spend commuting can be utilized on your writing project.
- Ask for a different work schedule. You might need those 40 hours each week, but maybe four ten-hour days would give you that three-day weekend and a bigger chunk of writing time.
Time away from the day job can clear your head. When you back away from the minutiae and drama that abounds in offices and businesses, you often see through the crap and recognize your professional worth with a less jaundiced eye. While you'd rather not work for that boss anymore, or sit next to that loud mouth on the phone, or work alongside the lazy bum who spends more time shirking his duties than working them, the fact is that you need the income and benefits. Writing is the dream, but it might not be the bread-winning profession you think it is.
- Take a one-week or two-week vacation for your writing, while your family is busy at school and work.
- Take a day off each week for several weeks to give your writing a better kickstart.
- Take an hour off each day for several weeks and see if you know how to insert it into your writing.
- Then there's Alexis' suggestion to request a sabbatical. Ask for months off. If you have the vacation time, fine. If not, take it without compensation.
- You have to be an excellent employee for your boss to listen to any of the above and maintain a clean record.
- You need health insurance. Some would argue with me, but I preach otherwise. It's necessary.
- You have to be able to show your employer that your idea is sound for both yourself and the company. At least demonstrate how you've carefully thought out your proposal.
- You need a writing plan to best utilize the time off you've worked so hard to barter for.
- You need specific projects and goals in place. Whether quitting or taking time off, you leave FOR something, not IN SPITE OF something.