BELA LAMPERT

Yoga Instructor
Optioned Screenwriter

Things You Can Do While You Hate Your Day Job


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A lot of writers are in this situation:

Having a day job to pay the bills (and probably feed the kids), while at the same time trying to keep your writing endeavours going.

And I don’t know the percentage of those who hate to go to their day job but judging from official statistics how many people dread going to work each monday I’d say it’s pretty high.

So, here is what you SHOULDN’T do if that’s the case:

Constant complaining

Constant complaining puts you in a general negative mood and you train your brain to even “look out” for new things to find to complain about

Creating constant negativity is one of the best way to shut down your inspiration.

Now, I’m not saying that when you really feel bad you should swallow it all. Find someone to talk to. Talking to someone about what hurts you can really make you feel better. That’s not complaining. It can have a therapeutic effect if the other person knows how to listen and is trustworthy.

With “constant complaining” I mean going on and on about things that you can’t change. Leave things as they are (for the most part) and concentrate on the things you CAN influence.

Now…

What are the things you CAN do when you’re at a day job you hate?

Plan an exit scenario

Go look for other work. And yes, you will find it. I’ve seen so many people being stuck in a job they didn’t like until they finally got out and looked for something else. When you focus your mind on looking for something new, eventually you’ll succeed.

“Abuse” others for your writing

And by “abusing” I mean using other people as inspiration for your screenplay or novel.

How would you describe your boss’s character traits?

Would he or she be a good villain?

How could you even heighten his or her traits to make a better villain?

Can you pin down on character traits of your co-workers to a point where you can even predict their behavior? Test it out. I’m sure you can create a bunch of situations where you can test if their reaction is what you thought it would be according to the traits you gave them.

Be aware that YOU are not your job

If your day job sucks, that’s just that. A job that sucks. It has nothing to do with you personally. If you don’t let others harm you, they can’t. If your boss is mean, that’s their problem. Become aware that they are acting out of their world, which has nothing to do with your world.

In your world you’re a writer on the way to success. If that way leads you momentarily through a job to pay your bills, so be it. Don’t let it affect you. Or at least as little as possible.

If there is conflict, make it a writing exercise

Try to become clear about the conflict in writing terms: who is fighting whom over what? Who is the villain in this conflict? Who sees themselves as the hero? This way you can get an outside perspective and don’t feel so much drawn into it.

Whatever you train your bain to focus on, that’s what it will do. If you train it to look out for negative things, that’s what it’s going to find. But if you train it to find positivity, over time it will get used to is and it will become second nature to you.

Positivity plays an important part in freeing up your inspiration.

More techniques for freeing up your inspiration:

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