When You Have To Have A Day Job

Every now and then I have to remind myself of all the ways that I can be creatively productive throughout the day, even when I have to have a day job.

Now I don’t mind my day job at all. It’s just… when I have several manuscripts, book dummies, illustration prompts, commissions, and blog posts to make, spending 40 + hours a week at a job that has nothing to do with any of this can seem like a complete waste of time.

IT’S NOT A WASTE OF TIME. I NEED MONEY ;_;

But there are also small ways to be creative with a piece of paper (or paper towel or tissue or cardboard piece or…) and a writing utensil.

Things I can do:

  • Write random ideas down on anything. Good sentences, concepts, character ideas. I got most of my PiBoIdMo and STORYSTORM ideas at my various day jobs.
  • Write whole first draft manuscripts. I wrote two manuscripts this year during lunch and one during a slow day. They were horrible but most first drafts are.
  • Draw quick thumbnail compositions without much thought. Actually I do better with first drafts and ideas when I work on something else. That’s why illustrating and writing go hand in hand for me. 
  • List blog ideas/begin writing blog posts. This is actually harder to do than manuscripts. 
  • Play out stories in my head while walking around. I do a lot of moving at work. They say that creativity works when you aren’t actively trying to be creative or something like thatthis article says so.

Things I shouldn’t do at the day job:

  • Edit manuscript. Writing firsts drafts is fine, editing them is not. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have to read my manuscripts out loud and that can get awkward.
  • Act out manuscript. I mean anyone could do this but…
  • Don’t get too invested. The whole point of creative thinking while doing other things is to not concentrate so hard. Hard concentration most likely leads to doubt and frustration and it’s incredibly difficult to get ideas with these two demons showing their ugly faces. This is why day jobs can be useful. 

Some days I just do my job because it gets pretty busy being Quality Control. This is why I need this reminder of the little things I can do to continue this journey to one day illustrating and writing children’s books.

Image below, always accurate!

  • selfportraitforwebsite.jpg
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