For four months now, I’ve been commuting full time to Sydney. My commute is long, about two hours uninterrupted train time each way. And every time someone asks me how I’m coping with the commute I say I’m fine because it’s four hours, five days a week of guilt and distraction free writing.
For the first two months, I wrote almost every day and finished the first draft of a novel (yes I am excited about that). Since then I’ve written a few days a week interspersed with reading and binge watching The Umbrella Academy (so freaking good argh, give me more).
It also provides great thinking time. It’s not often you can stare out a window and daydream without feeling like you should be doing the dishes or walking the dog or calling that friend you’ve been meaning to call.
But I’ve made this commute before. Last year for six months, three days a week, and it had nowhere near the same results. I almost never wrote. What’s the difference? As far as I can see the main difference is brain space.
When I was commuting previously, it was to a part time job. I also had a second casual job closer to home and was trying to side hustle my way to freedom. I would work on freelance gigs on the train. I would job hunt, pitch articles, research ways to make money, try to revive my Etsy store.
All my brain space, all my spare time went into making a ‘career’ out of writing. Which strangely left no time or mental energy to write what I actually wanted to write. Crazy isn’t it, but I’m sure you’ve heard this story before.
My new job is full time with a sustainable, if not mind blowing, income (it’s still in the industry after-all). I’m not trying to side hustle AT ALL. When I get to work, I work (although that novel does call sometimes). When I’m home, I’m home. And when I’m on the train, I write. It’s simple, easy, dare I say, joyous.
On the weekends I do chores, socialise and relax. I don’t have to feel bad about not working, because I worked at work, and I don’t have to feel bad about not writing because I wrote on the train.
Clear and enforced delineations in my time and responsibilities is really working for me at the moment. What works for you? When do you find writing easiest?