Sorry for not posting yesterday. I’m going to blog on Saturday to make up for it (I usually only blog every weekday). I had a huge exam to prepare for and have been studying like crazy for my midterms and finals. Remember, I’m still a student…
Which brings me to today’s topic. Between writing and studying and going to school for seven hours a day and all of the extra curricular activities and blogging, things get kind of chaotic for me. Does that ever happen to you? Where you have your priorities straight but everything else is still going on, so you have to keep up with everything? I can’t be the only one.
This is the kind of thing that makes it hard to be a writer. What we are doing takes a lot of time, and it’s a lot of work. It’s hard to find the time. Even though I love to write and I would never stop, I’m not going to deny that it’s nice to have a day to just lay around and read. Writing is both work and play. I’ve recently started moving out of that play part and into the work… editing. Am I right?
So I need to find a balance. Actually, I already have a pretty good balance going. I have school almost every day and then I come home and study and do homework and then I blog and then maybe I’ll still have time to write. Usually I do, but these exams kind of caught me off guard. Threw off my balance. I didn’t factor them into my schedule.
Ooh! Let’s talk about schedules.
I’ve found that calendars are very helpful. I’m a nerd, and I love planning things. I’m one of those writers who love the outlining of my novel almost more than actually writing it… It’s weird, I know. Most writers hate that stage. I actually got my phone confiscated at school because I had it out at lunch. It was the principal who took it… I wasn’t like most of the other people who get caught texting or on social media. No, I’m proud to say that I was coordinating my studying schedule with my writing schedule.
Is it worse that I was planning out those schedules for 2018 because I plan so far ahead?
Here’s the key to keeping on track and not letting other things get in the way of your writing: put in every day. Preferably at about the same time every day, to keep things consistent and build up your writer mo-jo.
It doesn’t have to be writing a couple hours each day or anything. Maybe you have ten minutes to spare at the end of your lunch break. Maybe you have a few minutes before you go to bed. And even if it isn’t working on your current writing project, that’s still good. I don’t work on my novel every day, but I write this blog on the five days of the week when I usually don’t have the time to get completely into it.
I’m still working on something, writing something. I’m getting to talk to several other writers and give them advice on their work. It’s all very encouraging and healthy for my writing-life.
And that means that, since I write before I go to bed, I will be used to writing at night when I get into my novel. Say Friday, when I can sleep in the next day, I stay up really late working on Holding My Breath. When I sit down to begin, I’ll get all of those ideas flowing without trying because I’m used to getting them out at night anyway.
Of course, some days I have to change it up a little, like pushing Tuesday’s blog off until Saturday when I know I’ll time to write it. If that happens, compensate for cutting off the flow of a daily routine.
There are some exceptions, of course. Like when it is finals week and I need to study, which is more important than the horror of putting off my manuscript for a week. You know, grades and all of that. Or during NaNoWriMo when I make the time and completely put all of my free time towards my novel. Even the time that isn’t free… remember the story of my teacher reading over my shoulder while I wrote a murder scene in class instead of taking notes? Yeah… but it was worth it.
Don’t trust my judgement.
My challenge for you is to find a way to get balance between your writing and other priorities. Even if other things might be more important at the time, sometimes you’re just going to find a way to write. And sometimes you think writing is super important and you have to set it aside to get something else done first. Try to establish a routine, a middle ground. Or even just take advantage of every spare minute you can find in your day.
Just don’t let yourself stop writing because you don’t have the time. You will never have the time. Nobody does, but we all do it anyway. Don’t let yourself get discouraged or lose the momentum of your story. Don’t let everything else in your life hold you back from something that you enjoy doing. Something that makes you happy.
Look at what your days will look like ahead of time and then try to even things out so you can find time to write along with it.
It’s going to be difficult, but it will help. I’ve actually developed the habit of checking my phone’s google calendar every day so I know what’s going on. Whenever something new comes up, I add it in to the calendar, make notes, and have fun with it.
Guess what? It’s color coded…. he he.
I’m a nerd and I’m proud.
And don’t worry. You don’t have to plan until 2018. That’s just my overpowering brain that never turns off.
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Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!