A Creative Writer’s Guide To Surviving The Cubicle
Landing a job that celebrates our writing creativity is the dream. But it’s not always realistic or, at first, attainable. So we settle for calculator punching jobs with days full of screen staring and afternoon meetings that drag on and on.
When you’d rather be anywhere but at your cubicle, it doesn’t always mean you picked the wrong desk job. It’s time to create a new life strategy that celebrates your creative writing while not ditching your desk job.
Let’s put your creativity to work.
Be Creative Outside Your 9-to-5
Commit to your creative writing. Make it a routine to practice each day.
It’s up to you when that happens. Write while the sun rises. Write while chewing your dinner. Write when the house is (finally) quiet.
But it’s up to you to write.
You must assert your right-brain creativity in order to recharge your left-brain lifestyle. That way both sides of your brain get a workout.
You may find that you write more when you have a small window of time than if you had all day to have a go at it.
Be Creative During Your Lunch Break
If you have an hour-long lunch break, challenge yourself to write. Walk into the creative writing session with a plan on how you’re going to use your time. The truth is that, after microwaving your leftovers or running through the drive-thru, your lunch break isn’t really an hour. So know how you’re going to make the most of the time.
Also try not writing at your cubicle. Take advantage of the company’s lunchroom space or, if that’s too distracting, write at an outside location where you can find your creativity.
Read Creative Writing Books
If you can’t be constantly writing, be constantly thinking about how to improve your craft. Read books that inspire creativity or that focus on how you can sharpen your craft.
This can be done outside of work or while you’re eating lunch. Keep your inspiration alive and regular so that your creativity doesn’t fizzle.
Decorate Your Cubicle
If you’re being boxed in, why not make your fort look like a castle?
Not literally, of course.
Hang up quotes that inspire creativity, paintings or photographs that you value, and awards you won such as road race medals or contest certificates. Remind yourself of your greatness.
Discuss Creativity At The Water Cooler
Think you’re the only creative writer in the office? Think again.
Chances are some of your peers also enjoy writing, reading, or being creative through other mediums. Shift the conversation to figure this out.
Once you find a fellow creative, discuss your craft. How can you two help each other in writing during a short break to grab some coffee?
Know What Funds Your Creativity
Why are you at your current job? Is it for the money? What is that money paying for?
Make a list on how you have spent the money from this job. Has it brought value to your life?
Now make a list of how you truly want to spend your money in the future. How will this bring value to your life?
Appreciate the work you do and what it brings. Future vacations and retirements full of time to write can be banking on the work you do inside your cubicle.
If you are still unhappy at your job, is the pay worth the strife of staying? Is there another career field with the same pay benefits you value that still celebrates you as a creative writer?
You are not the cubicle. Don’t let a job you dislike define you. It is one aspect of your life, but not your entire life. Find a balance between your creativity and your cubicle work until you can make your passion a full-time career. It is up to you to decide to defeat the cubicle for good or to shift your survival plan within its walls.
How do you survive Cubicle Land? Share your survivor story below.
Take a walk outside during lunch. I find the change of scenery and body position reboots the brain a bit.
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