Writing Exercises: "Five Ways to Nurture and Protect Your Writing"

At long last we continue working through Áine Greaney's wonderful book, Writer with a Day Job, the next lesson focusing on nurturing and protecting our writing with the bonus of yet another list of five step-by-step lists.

The first of our five steps reminds us to consider who we are now. When the inevitable question of "what do you do?" presents itself, a writer must always remember to define themselves as such. You are a writer, even if you are also an accountant or photographer or baker, etc. Never forget to define yourself as a writer because that is also what you do.

The self identification goes much deeper than the paycheck, Greaney tells us. Your writing equaling the value of your day job earns you the much more valuable respect of being able to balance both lives. Its a wonderful payoff considering we writers want to be popular, we want to be a team player outside of our writing jobs but every writer must consider carefully the value of our time. Each time we make ourselves the "yes-man/woman" we are taking time out of writing and handing it over to our day jobs.

As we go about establishing our weekly schedule we must remember to love, honor, and protect our writing by respecting it as a gift from the universe that cannot afford to be wasted. From accepting our wonderful gift, we must cop an attitude that not only celebrates its existence, but prioritizes its practice.

Do not allow yourselves to forget that you deserve to write. Do not allow the values of industry and duty rule over creativity and fun. Greaney reminds us that we truly deserve to write and have fun doing so. Above all else, our jobs should serve our writing, not the other way around. Mastering the ability to utilize your day job as a way to support your writing is an exceedingly helpful skill we all need to learn. Use deadlines as work to motivate you to finish your next manuscript, unfinished work is unpaid work after all. Our lesson for today: it is massively important to protect our writing and nurture our dual lives between writing and maintaining our jobs in the workforce. Utilize your work behavior as a tool to keep your writing deadlines and be careful to value our writing lives, as well as our work lives, equally.

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