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Writer with a Day Job: Inspiration & Exercises to Help You Craft a Writing Life Alongside Your Career

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Don't let the daily grind drain your creative energy! You can work full time and still have a productive writing life. Many writers waste time waiting for the day they can finally quit their day jobs and live the so-called writing dream. Don't wait. You can do both and your writing will be the better for it.

Balancing a full-time job and a productive writing life is no easy
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Paperback, 233 pages
Published June 5th 2011 by Writer's Digest Books (first published May 9th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 360)
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Richard Szponder
So many people dream of being writers, but the reality is that it remains a dream for many. With bills to pay, social and familial obligations, and the craziness that is everyday life, who can even imagine fitting writing time into such a busy schedule? With a bit of planning and the right amount of discipline, even the busiest of schedules can accommodate some daily writing time. In Writer With A Day Job, Aine Greaney presents a series of suggestions and ideas to realize your writing goals alon ...more
Christina Vasilevski
This book was not what I expected.

Although it contained writing prompts and useful information about writing, revising, and finding support from other writers, these things can be found in almost any book about writing. That information is redundant here.

What I really wanted was for the author to focus more on the mindset and discipline required to balance writing with other forms of work. There were a few chapters that addressed this, but not enough to justify the title, which alone was the rea
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Deb
I guess I expected more from this book. It didn't really offer any new information from what is already available in blogs on the Internet or in other writing books. I'm still working and writing full time, but not doing it any differently because of reading this book. However, some of the exercises. although really having nothing to do with writing while holding down a day job, were interesting and helpful. If you're looking for some fun, basic writing information, you'll find it here. But, if ...more
Mark Hennion
Of the increasingly available collection of how-to writing books that WD now publishes, I found "Writer with a Day Job" to be a practical, if not generally common sense guide. The purported focus of this book was addressed with some clever tips, and as per usual with most of these books a liberal sprinkling of exercises and affirmations are available.

What surprised me most about this book is the lack of editing; the book contains a large number of misspellings, converged words (two words not spa
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Derek Farrell
Some of what's in here are basic exercises on, for example, dialogue, characterisation and redrafting. But if you strip out this stuff - not exactly padding but somewhat out of place in a book about fitting a writing career in with a straight life - you do still end up with an enjoyable, pragmatic and practical series of suggestions and approaches.

As others have noted, none of it's original, but then: What good advice ever is? A positive read, and one I'll return to whenever I need a reinforcem
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Kathy Richardson
I agree with many of the reviewers below in that they wish the author included more tips on writing while working. She included some handy tips and some most working writers have already figured out. That said, I did find the 20 interviews she included at the end fun to read.

I also found her writing tips and exercises a great refresher. These types of novels are inspiring to me whether they teach me a lot or not. :)
Mary
This book is exactly what I needed. I stumbled upon it, but it quickly became a must-buy. Aine hit the perfect tone (for me) of practical information and motivation to put the book down and start writing! Aine provides a wealth of different models for fitting writing into a very busy schedule, and inspired me to make a firmer commitment to myself as a writer. Within a week of reading the first couple chapters, I found myself writing a brief memoir piece literally while waiting at the meat counte ...more
Pauline
There were some super-helpful nuggets for me in this book, such as:
~ Be grateful for your day job!
~ It IS possible to fit writing into your daily routine
~ Self-doubt is normal; allow yourself to write (your first draft) badly.

However, I'm not sure there was a whole book-worth of material here, and I skipped over the writing exercises as they seemed more aimed at unleashing creativity in those who suspect they want to write, rather than those of us with too many ideas and to little time.

But if yo
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Melinda
I didn't expect this book to be particularly groundbreaking, as I judged the book by its inside design elements. I had also picked it up at my local library, so I was not upset by the value since I had nothing invested.

This book serves its purpose well enough as a skim-worthy intro to a topic plaguing many writers. I skipped entire chapters and found a few bits that were relevant to my own challenges. I suspect others may do the same.



Karinacashew
When I flipped through the chapters before buying it, I thought that it would have enough depth and information about being a writer with a day job. However, each chapter felt like it had just skimmed on the surface and it left me wanting more. The discipline development was useful but I found myself wanting more of that versus basic information about other stuff like editing, writing exercises, etc. I guess what I really wanted was insight on how to muster strength to get through the day when t ...more
Mark Polino
I'm struggling a little with this book. There was some some very good stuff in here but much of it seemed like common sense. Perhaps I've read many of these suggestions in other places and that's why they feel familiar. I was impressed that there is actually a list of places to find online wrtiter's groups. Several books I've read have simply said "Use Google to find online writer's groups". The extra effort was appreciated.

Some of the technology suggestions fell flat. OneNote and Evernote have
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Jery Schober
A lot of basic tips which are not new to anyone who read more than 3 books about writing, but nicely presented and organized. Nothing extraordinary innovative or merely creative. Written in an easy, humorous style.
Morven
Mar 08, 2015 Morven rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Beginning writers
This is a very good book that I would heartily recommend to someone who is starting out writing while holding down a day job, but I wish it contained more on how to manage writing while holding down a day job.

I almost wish that it had been divided into two books: One that contained the excellent exercises and writing tips, and one that had the information on how to make a writing life while working, expanding on the information already in there.

Don't skip the interviews in the back of the book
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A.E.
A very helpful book for writers who are struggling to find that ever-present and elusive balance between writing and working a full-time job to support oneself and one's family. The author's exercises and suggestions are wonderful, and will actually give you something to work with--someplace to start--instead of just throwing up your hands in the air and guilt-tripping yourself for another day gone by when the writing just didn't happen.

Definitely well worth checking out and reading for any wri
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Jeff
I enjoyed it, though the title is a bit misleading. It's actually a book that gives a variety of writing help, not just ideas for combining a writing life with a "regular" job (which it does quite well, I might add). If you want just information on how to do the latter, you may want to skip some of the pages that don't pertain to that. Ms. Greaney also gives examples and interviews of how people have managed to be quite successful as writers despite working elsewhere. Overall, I think it's a ver ...more
Deanna
Not a lot of a-ha material here, but a decent primer or refresh of writing tips for busy people. I liked the author interviews, and I also found it helpful to be reminded that even c-level execs can manage to find time to write.
Mary
There was a lot of information in this book about balancing writing with a day-job which I thought was relevant to any creative pursuit. The "how to write" parts were not that inspired, but the balancing info was great and the interviews with writers were interesting. I felt a little betrayed though that most of the writers that were interviewed don't actually have day jobs anymore, they are now full-time writers.
Don Gale
Meh. I was disappointed. I was looking for a book focusing solely on writing while working full-time. What Greaney has written is a writing method book with some tips for writers who work mixed in. There are plenty of method books out there, some probably better than this one. She could have condensed her writers-who-work tips into a much shorter volume and just left out the method.
Bev
This book had one, maybe two magazine articles' worth of advice on how to write alongside a career. Really good articles. Then it tried to cover a whole lot of other ground about how to write, inspiration on writing, and author interviews. Nice, but a lot to fit in a skinny little book.
Jennie
Wanting to write is easy, doing it and making money something else entirely.

I have to buy this book and a new bookcase to put it on.

My favourite line is about getting a real job and working your writing around it. It emphasizes NEVER GIVING UP which is awesome advice.

Must read!
David Earle
I ended up skipping the last few sections of the book, on revision and author interviews. Not a bad book, and I may read those sections when I have something to revise, but I just couldn't stay engaged.
Peggy
I think I've read too many "how to" books. Most of the information in this book is a re-hash of what I've read in the past. I did enjoy the last section--"Twenty Author Interviews."
Pamela Trawick
Great book whether you have a day job or not. Includes tips, topical discussions, exercises, and writer interviews. Add it to your shelf.
Cindy Richard
Practical tips for getting your writing done no matter your schedule or life circumstances.
Laura
An ok read, and I liked the exercises. A lot of common sense stuff though... Maybe I've read too many how to write books. Meh.
Richard Magahiz
Exercises and practical advice for someone juggling a day job and a writing vocation
Deborah
I picked this up at out local book store. It is highly readable and fun.
Mfly
Aug 06, 2012 Mfly marked it as to-read
All right, Lisa. I'm in.
Tammy
A great book for writers!
Ninja
Not real helpful, to me.
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2984683
An Irish-born author who lives north of Boston. Novels: The Big House and Dance Lessons. Also short stories, personal essays and features in such publications as the Boston Globe Magazine, Salon.com, The Literary Review, Creative Nonfiction, Natural Bridge, The Fish Anthology and other publications. Also a frequent public speaker and creative writing teacher at various schools, libraries and arts ...more
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