Balancing Writing with a Full-Time Job: Tips for Part-Time Writers

Writing is a passion for many, but the demands of a full-time job can make it challenging to find the time to write. Most writers struggle to balance writing with a full-time job, juggling various responsibilities. The vast majority are not able to earn enough from their writing to live off and need another job to support themselves. Whether you’re crafting short stories, blog posts, or engaging in freelance writing work, balancing writing with a full-time job requires dedication, effective time management, and a bit of creativity. This blog post will provide you with actionable tips to help you become a successful part-time freelance writer, achieve your writing goals, and maintain a fulfilling work-life balance.

1. Understand Your Writing Goals

Before diving into tips for balancing writing with a full-time job, it’s essential to clarify your writing goals. Ask yourself why you want to write. Are you writing for fun, looking to publish a novel, or aiming to build a freelance writing side hustle? Understanding your goals will help you prioritize your writing sessions and keep you motivated.

2. Make a Schedule and Stick to It

Time management is crucial for part-time writers. To make the most of your limited writing time, create a schedule that works for you. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Assess Your Free Time: Look at your weekly schedule and identify when you have pockets of free time. This could be during lunch breaks, evenings, or weekends. Finding time to write can be challenging, especially if you are working full-time hours and balancing other life commitments like being a parent or managing other jobs.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Determine how many words you want to write each week. Be realistic about what you can achieve given your other commitments.
  • Block Out Writing Time: Schedule dedicated writing sessions in your calendar. Treat these sessions as non-negotiable appointments with yourself.

For example, you might decide to spend thirty minutes writing during your lunch break or dedicate one hour every evening to your writing projects.

3. Utilize Your Lunch Breaks

If you have a full-time job, lunch breaks can be a valuable time to write. Even just thirty minutes of focused writing can make a significant difference. Here’s how to make the most of your lunch breaks:

  • Find a Quiet Spot: If possible, find a quiet place where you can write without interruptions.
  • Set a Timer: Use a timer or a productivity app to keep track of your writing session. This will help you stay focused and make the most of your time.
  • Have a Plan: Before you start your lunch break writing session, know what you want to achieve. Whether it’s outlining a chapter or drafting a blog post, having a clear plan will help you use your time wisely.

4. Leverage Spare Time

In addition to lunch breaks, look for other pockets of spare time throughout your day. This could be during your commute, waiting for appointments, or even while your kids are at school. These small chunks of time can add up and help you make progress on your writing projects.

  • Spending time with pets: Spending time with pets can be a rewarding and comforting experience. Pet cuddles or simply spending time with them can help you relax and reduce stress after a lot of work.

5. Set Up a Writing Space

Having a dedicated writing space can help you get into the right mindset for writing. This doesn’t need to be an entire room; a small desk or a quiet corner will suffice. Make sure your writing space is free from distractions and equipped with everything you need, such as your laptop, notebook, and a comfortable chair.

6. Join a Writing Community

Being part of a writing community can provide you with support, motivation, and accountability. Look for local writing groups, online forums, or social media groups where you can connect with other writers. Sharing your progress, challenges, and achievements with like-minded individuals can keep you motivated and inspired.

7. Use Productivity Apps

Productivity apps can help you stay organized and focused. Here are a few tools that can assist you in balancing writing with a full-time job:

  • Trello: Use Trello to organize your writing projects, set deadlines, and track your progress.
  • Scrivener: Scrivener is a writing software that helps you organize your manuscripts, research, and notes all in one place.
  • Pomodoro Timer: The Pomodoro technique involves working in focused intervals (usually 25 minutes) followed by short breaks. This method can help you stay productive and avoid burnout.

8. Embrace the First Draft Mentality

When you’re juggling writing with a full-time job, it’s important to remember that your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. Embrace the process of getting your ideas down on paper without worrying about perfection. You can always revise and edit later. The key is to keep writing and make consistent progress.

9. Find Accountability Partners

Having accountability partners can keep you on track with your writing goals. Find a friend, fellow writer, or join a writing group where you can share your goals and progress. Regular check-ins and encouragement from others can make a big difference in maintaining your writing routine.

10. Be Kind to Yourself

Balancing writing with a full-time job is challenging, and it’s important to be kind to yourself. There will be days when you’re too tired to write, and that’s okay. Allow yourself to rest and recharge. Remember that progress is progress, no matter how small.

11. Maximize Weekend Writing Sessions

For many part-time writers, weekends offer more flexibility for longer writing sessions. Here’s how to make the most of your weekends:

  • Plan Ahead: Know what you want to work on during your weekend writing sessions. Having a clear plan will help you stay focused and productive.
  • Set a Word Count Goal: Aim for a specific word count during your weekend writing sessions. This could be 1,000 words, 2,000 words, or whatever is realistic for you.
  • Create a Routine: Establish a weekend writing routine that includes specific times for writing, breaks, and other activities.

12. Break Down Your Writing Projects

Large writing projects can feel overwhelming, especially when you have limited time. Break down your projects into smaller, manageable tasks. For example, if you’re writing a novel, focus on one chapter at a time. If you’re writing a blog post, break it down into sections and tackle one section at a time.

13. Stay Inspired

Staying inspired is crucial for maintaining your writing motivation. Here are some ways to stay inspired:

  • Read Regularly: Reading widely can spark new ideas and keep you excited about writing.
  • Watch Movies and Shows: Engaging with different forms of storytelling can inspire your own writing.
  • Attend Writing Workshops: Participate in writing workshops and courses to learn new skills and stay motivated.
  • Improve Writing Skills: Emphasize the importance of writing skills in creating affiliate-based blog posts. Offer resources for improving writing skills for clients.

14. Prioritize Self-Care

Balancing writing with a full-time job can be exhausting, so it’s important to prioritize self-care. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking breaks when needed. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you maintain your writing productivity.

15. Celebrate Your Achievements

Finally, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Finishing a chapter, reaching a word count goal, or publishing a blog post are all accomplishments worth celebrating. Recognizing your progress will keep you motivated and remind you why you love writing.


Balancing writing with a full-time job is undoubtedly challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. By setting clear goals, managing your time wisely, and staying motivated, you can achieve your writing dreams. Remember that every writer’s journey is unique, and it’s important to find a routine that works for you. Whether you’re writing during lunch breaks, on weekends, or in the spare moments throughout your day, every bit of progress brings you closer to your goals. Keep writing, stay inspired, and enjoy the journey.

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