The short answer is, yes.
But if you’ve ever tried to write a novel or started a blog, alongside a full time job and all the other commitments we have nowadays, you’ll understand that it can be a complicated undertaking.
I’ve done both – I’ve even tried to do them at the same time, although that’s often when things start to become difficult. But pursuing these projects has taught me a lot about managing my time and working efficiently.
Double up your work
When it comes to blogging, it can be more efficient to work in batches. I post four new blog posts a week, which I generally write one by one, the day before they’re due to be published.
But sometimes, if I’m feeling especially productive or have some free time, I like to write all my posts for the week in one sitting, which then frees up time for the rest of the week so I can focus on other things, such as updating my social media accounts, admin, or general blog maintenance.
This way of working is also great for boosting your mood and your work ethic. As you’ve written extra content in advance, you feel super productive, which then inspires you to create more new content and do some of the jobs you might have been putting off.
It’s much better than staring at the computer the night before a post is due, knowing you have to write something but not having anything worthwhile to say.
Stick to a schedule
Having a schedule makes it a lot easier to find the time to write. It doesn’t have to be too specific, it might be enough to decide that you will write something twice a week, on Sunday mornings and Wednesday night.
Make the most of your free time
With the best will in the world, sometimes you will struggle to find time – or energy – to work on your writing. I often get home from work, fully intending to spend the evening blogging or editing my novel, then before I know it, it’s 10 o’clock and I’m zoned out in front of the television and I haven’t even touched my laptop.
Or the evenings might fill up with other activities: seeing friends, going out, exercising, family time. On those days, you have to get clever with your time if you’re going to get any writing done. That could mean blogging on your lunch break, or scribbling in a notebook on the train on the way home from work.
Remember to take time off
It might feel like you should be making the most of all your free time, but not having enough rest is one of the fastest ways to burn out and make your writing or blog feel like a chore.
Plan a full night or day off, get away from the computer and do something you find relaxing, whether it’s reading a book or enjoying a night out.
Taking a break can be a great way to find fresh inspiration or even allow your subconscious to deal with a plot problem in your novel. While you’re concentrating on enjoying yourself, new ideas can develop quietly at the back of your mind.
Be honest about your priorities
Trying to do too much is the quickest way to achieve nothing. Your focus will be all over the place and you’ll end up stressed and miserable.
If you have too many commitments, assess them objectively and see which are the most important. This is the area I find hardest; writing is my main priority, yet I give it the least time because I have a list of other things I don’t feel I can sacrifice, such as housework and working out.
But maybe I could be more flexible with my routine. For example, instead of ditching my workouts completely to write, perhaps I could skip one a month. Then the next week, I could skip a night of TV; the week after I might spend less time cleaning, and so on. That way nothing has to go completely.
Analyse your excuses
If you’re always coming up with reasons why you can’t write or blog is it really that important to you?
What are the real reasons you can’t make time? Are you really too busy, or is it down to something else, like the fear of failure?
Examining your issues in this way will help you to come up with solutions that you might not otherwise have considered.
Let something else go
If all else fails, you might just have to give something else up. After all, no one can do everything. Before you quit, see if you can find help, whether it’s asking your partner to share the housework or cooking, or outsourcing some of your blog admin to a virtual assistant.
Just remember, while it’s intimidating to think about writing or blogging regularly or to tight deadlines when you already have a full time job, it is possible.
Start slowly and build a routine; that way you’re more likely to stick with it.
Do you have any tips for managing a demanding hobby or freelance work alongside a day job?