Posted by: Matt Q. McGovern | April 23, 2014

Managing a writing regimen when your career gets in the way

I’m in the IT field, short for Information Technology (the world of software development, configuration, & support).

As many of my peers will attest, this career is one that occasionally doesn’t like to share your life with other endeavors, writing being one of them (your personal and family life being another).

There are many other careers that are the same way. Sometimes the career job will be over-demanding on a seasonal basis, like for example, tax time for an accountant or software release time for an IT professional. And I can also see both careers being over-demanding all the time.

Regardless of the career, the conflict happens and I want to address it. For me, I’ve been working a job that has me learning the business all over again. Every night and weekend I feel the need to take myself back to school on my own to try to become the expert I need to be (the expert I once was on older, obsolete technologies).

There isn’t time for writing.

At least, considering that writing doesn’t pay my bills and my career does.

Fortunately, I have often felt that the Muses can be very accommodating if we will. They’ll work with us, if we’re willing to let them.

A temporary switch of project might be in order. I put my novel on hold and work on short stories instead. And I let the Muse drive.

“What are you working on, that’s keeping you so busy?” She asked me.

I explain my predicament, telling Her all about the new language I’m working on, and the new server I have to figure out how to configure, and She listens patiently.

“Your previous writing reflects your vocation. You like to explain the worlds you create. Perhaps one of your characters might share your vocational challenges.”

She left me with that. In a short story, there are a lot of possibilities to go with for me. Maybe it’s a witch trying to work out new potions when the old ones don’t work anymore.

What might the possibilities be for you if the Muse asked you the same question? Or what might that conversation be between the Muse and you?

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