Friday, October 23, 2009

Writing, with School

Ahhh the school year. The time when teenagers spent eight hours a day trapped in the hall of "learning", work hard to keep up with the homework, and enjoy extracurricular activities. But doing all that and keeping up with writing can be difficult. So here are some tips on how to balance writing and school while you count down the days to summer break.

1. Remember, as much as we wish it was otherwise, school should always come first. Do your homework as soon as you get home instead of *ahem* putting it off until a few minutes before it's due. This way you can relax and just write, rather than worrying about that history project or math worksheet.

2. Set aside a period for writing/editing. Maybe you write best after dinner or right before bed. Set aside an hour or two to unplug and just write.

3. If you're like me and you have trouble setting aside a specific amount of time for working, then at least try to write each day. As soon as your homework's done, open up your WIP instead of the internet. Resist the urge to "just check your email" or check Facebook. Write first, play later.

4. Use your weekends and breaks! Days off are a great time to get writing done, but don't feel pressured to get a lot done just because it's your day off. Take some time to relax too. Make sure you're not taking all the fun out of writing.

5. Give up extra things if you have to. No, I don't mean extracurricular activities or homework. But if you have to cut back on your blogging, or internet time, or beta reading, do it. Your writing is more important. I've already decided to write all my blog posts on Sunday and set them to auto-post so I don't have to worry about that during the week and I'm severely restricting the amount of beta projects I'm allowed to take on.

6. Work in school! Carry extra notebook paper around with you during school for brainstorming during downtime. This is also a great idea just in case you -- like me -- sometimes get random ideas that pop into your head that you just have to write down so you don't forget. If you're working on editing, print out a few manuscript pages and take them with you.

7. Becky at TWFT suggests using assignments to your advantage. For example, if you have an assignment to write a short story, try to find a way to incorporate that short story in your own writing. Maybe write a short from a minor character's point of view to better get to know them.


Emilia Joyce Plater said...

Ooh, I like the incorporating assignments idea. Actually, we have to do a creative presentation for English, and I think I'm going to read a scene from AC. Let's see how that goes over!
I wish I could work during school, but I hate handwriting. Plus there's always the worry that the creepy guy to your right is reading it. haha
Not that I wouldn't LOVE for the creepy guy to read it... but only when it's published. :D