“Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?”
This has to be the most dreaded interview question ever. After all, if I had said I wanted to be a writer while applying for a Ph.D. at an IIT, I don’t think they’d have accepted me.
But that’s who I wanted to be.
Though I loved writing, doing it alongside a full-time job wasn’t easy. I felt overwhelmed and drained all the time. It was the beginning of the problems that came with part-time writing along with a full-time job.
After months of failed attempts, I finally cracked how to write efficiently while working full-time, and I have created this guide for you to fast-track your success.
This post is a compilation of all the problems a person writing alongside their full-time job might face, and how to overcome them.
24 hours are not enough!
It was my recurring thought that the day is not long enough. Certainly, I was burning the candle at both ends, but it never seemed sufficient.
What more could I do?
Turns out, it wasn’t about what but how — how should I do things differently?
I started by planning my day well in advance. It’s still an unmissable night-time ritual to make my to-do list for the next day.
- Once you have your to-do list, start time-blocking your day to allocate small chunks of hours to each task.
- Schedule some time for writing, daily.
- Remove everything from your sight that causes distraction from writing. This will let you focus on writing by default.
My go-to mantra is — if it’s on the calendar, it’s going to happen. So put it out there and get started.
I’ll be a laughing stock
I remember this being a daunting fear when I was writing part-time alongside my research.
“What if my colleagues read this and later make fun of me?”
Sure, they can.
Maybe they will.
But that shouldn’t stop your growth.
You’re not going to stay in this workplace forever, and your colleagues will leave one day. Your dreams won’t. At least mine didn’t.
I stopped thinking of my colleagues and their judgments. I went back to the most dreaded question — “Where do I see myself in the next 5 years?” I started writing for where I wanted to be and who my colleagues can be 5 years from now.
This simple shift in mindset was a game-changer for me. Liberate yourself from all fears of judgment. Keep repeating — “It’s impossible to impress everyone.”
Comparing my Day 1 with others’ Day 1000
I still remember the feeling when I hit publish on my first Medium article. Totally unaware of the 130k followers-strong saga it would unfold three years later, I was full of self-doubt.
“What if people call me out?”
“I’m definitely not an expert on this topic.”
“Other popular writers have such perfect blogs — is mine even close?”
You’ll also be grappled by such thoughts but hit publish anyway.
Instead of chasing perfection in others, draw more from your experiences. This will make your writing more authentic, unique, and true to your identity. Build your own identity and scale up.
Authenticity >>>>>>> Perfection
No one can compete with you in being “you”.
Sacrifices become a way of living
The biggest drawback of having a side hustle with a full-time job is the commitment it demands. After working your entire day, you have to reduce your “me time” to accommodate writing.
Your social life and family life can sometimes get tossed.
This is certainly a reality check that no one gave me. In the pursuit of my passion, I had to let go of self-care. But I kept pushing forward, with my eyes set on the goal of becoming a writer.
Now that I’ve spent two years as a full-time writer, I attribute this success to the commitment I had while juggling two professions.
Give your all to this moment and claim the future you desire.
The going can get tough initially, but it’s all your masterpiece in creation.
It can be lonely at times
The least discussed aspect of choosing a writer’s life is the isolation it brings along.
You spend your entire day with your colleagues and work full-time. But you can’t expect them to understand your situation of going back home and writing page after page.
Even full-time writers cannot relate to juggling two active but totally unconnected streams of income.
It’s easy to feel disconnected from the world and lost in a sea of aspiring writers.
I started exercising to channel my pent-up thoughts into my physical well-being. I also focused on journaling to share my daily thoughts on paper. These activities kept me company at times when the feeling of loneliness intensified.
When do I quit?
I know it’s exciting to have a business idea — to quit your 9–5 and be your own boss solopreneur!
As tempting as this thought may be, don’t quit your job just yet. Start writing as a side hustle while having the stability of a full-time job. It’s definitely not easy to balance your writing gigs with a full-time job. Both jobs will demand your complete dedication and intense hard work.
I’ve written an article addressing some self-reflection prompts before quitting your job-
The initial hustle doesn’t make success impossible.
Take your time and gradually scale up your writing business. Once I got past my inhibitions, I could grow my side hustle with a solid customer base and eventually quit my job. Now I have successfully transitioned into an entrepreneur with multiple income streams and more in the making.
It’s a long journey to being your own boss, but for me, great things started happening when I was a part-time writer.
So don’t think of quitting your job right away.
Start writing alongside your full-time job and solve the problems with my tried and tested tips. Keep faith in yourself and work hard towards building your backup income source. This can help you become resilient to failure.
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