Nights and Weekends
Over the weekend, my friends discussed the challenge of balancing a full-time job with creative pursuits. Although I can relate, it is achievable, and there’s plenty of precedence.
Dana Gioia, a poet who wrote on evenings and weekends while working as a Business Executive, created a video about other poets and authors who wrote while maintaining full-time jobs.
Derek Sivers also wrote that the happiest people he knows have a well-paying job and pursue their art for love. Your job provides stability and resources. Your art provides a creative expression. The two balance each other out.
Living this double life of work and writing means I must be disciplined and set firm boundaries. During work hours, I am completely focused on my job. But I have a strict cutoff at 6pm - no emails or messages afterwards. I’ll take a break after work, then from 7:30-8:00 pm, I’ll write for the rest of the evening. On the weekend, I’ll go to my favourite coffee shop in the morning and write from 8am to 12 noon. The rest of the day I’ll do some chores, relax, and hang out with friends.
While the artist’s life is romanticized, I find this balanced lifestyle underrated. It took a lot of experimentation to find the routine that works for me but once I found it, it was incredibly fulfilling.