How Should I Balance Writing With Everything Else?

How Should I Balance Writing With Everything Else?

Life is packed, but there are ways to make writing a priority.
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A friend in my community asked me how I balance Odyssey with other things in my life. Considering how important writing is to me, and also considering how busy we all are, I figured it would be a better endeavor to dedicate an article to it.

So here goes.

First, some background: I've gone through high school, college and now adult/working life and have never stopped writing. I know exactly how busy you are and how frustrating and difficult it can be to juggle it all.

But fear not. There are ways.

1. Make time.

This ain't no joke. This ain't even negotiable. If you want to write, you're going to have to carve time out of your daily schedule. When you're a college student, you have to do this around the five trillion things you're already scheduled to do. You have to eat meals, go to class, do your homework, hang out with friends, talk to mom on the phone, sleep and most importantly, spend time with God. How in the world are you going to find time write?

Well, it's in there somewhere. When I was in high school, and for the first two years of college, I got up every day at 6 AM to write. Junior year onward, I got up at 6 AM to exercise (UUUUUGH) and then luckily only had classes after 10 AM, so I wrote after breakfast. This is the power of habit.

THE POWER OF HABIT.

I put that twice (and in really big font) so you understand how vital it is. If you start forming your writing habit now, it will never die. This extends beyond college, beyond internships and beyond those initial job interviews. You're going to take these habits with you for the rest of your life. The only way to write is to simply make the time to do it.

2. Get your homework done.

Hopefully that sentence didn't make you wail in agony.

But the gist of the message is this: homework is super important. You're in college for a reason, and that's so you can do what you want with the rest of your life. You don't want to compromise that with anything else while you're still in college, not even if it's your undying passion (as writing is mine). Please make sure you're getting your homework done before you write. Even if that means compressing your writing time to 30 minutes before bed, or the 10 minutes before each class, then at least you know you're not putting your education in jeopardy.

Also, it will make writing a heck of a lot less stressful. You try sitting down to write a short story while that World History paper is sitting untouched. Yikes. Your creative mind will thank you if you've already cleared your responsibilities beforehand.

3. Write what you need to.

This one is the easiest. All through high school and college, I fluctuated between full-blown novels and smaller projects. Sometimes, I could only focus on one at a time, and at other points, I could switch between three or four. These ups and downs depended on my schedule. If my days were strict and had almost no spare moments, I would allow myself to write tiny things that didn't take long, but still produced creative output (flash fiction and poetry are amazing for this). If my schedule was a bit freer, I could devote more time to major novels.

If you find yourself growing creatively frustrated, just sit down and write something. Even if it sucks, it's important to keep those habits going. In the long run, you're still doing yourself good. Writing is therapeutic in a lot of the same ways dreams are. They help you organize your thoughts. They help you escape into other worlds for a little while. They give you power. Write what you need to.

4. Cut yourself some slack.

DON'T.

FORGET.

THIS.

You'll have weeks where you don't write a single word. You might even go for a month or two. I've been there, and it's easy to guilt-trip yourself and sink into a pit of existential crisis. However, any writer will tell you that there is no magic formula for being able to write all the time. In fact, no one can write all the time. At least twice a year, I have long stretches of uncreativity, and it's torture. But I know I'll get through it. I know that at the end of the awful tunnel is another stretch of bursting productivity and ideas. I live for those stretches.

So cut yourself some slack. Your passion shouldn't wear you down. It should build you up.

5. (Odyssey-specific) Plan ahead!

I've been writing for Odyssey over a year and a half now, and I've learned some important things along the way. First, keep the above four points in mind. Second, plan!

-Keep a running list of ideas you get throughout the week. Jot them down wherever you are and keep them handy for reference later (especially when you get to the day before your deadline and you're like "AAA! What do I write about?!")

-Try writing a little each day for Odyssey. Pop open the Content Creator and add a couple sentences. Then go away. It feels great to be able to go away.

-Ask for help. We're a community, after all. Bounce ideas off fellow writers and see which feedback sparks your interest. As I've said in previous articles, writing friends are priceless. Use them to your advantage! (And we are always more than happy to talk about writing. It's what we do).

-Mix it up. Don't like writing about the same topic over and over? Write about EVERYTHING. Life gives us a lot of things to write about, after all.

-Or stick to a theme. Do you have a lot to say about something? (Sort of like the way I have a bajillion things to say about writing?) Then write about that! You can even do what I did and set up a blog for your specific audience. Mine is called The Feather Pen, and it's gained a lil pack of followers in the past year. It's another great way to build that social media repertoire.


These are the most important pillars as far as balancing writing life and other life goes. There are probably dozens more I could cover, but these embrace a large amount of them. If you have any more, don't hesitate to share! Writers should always support other writers.

Now go write!

Cover Image Credit: Monoar Rahman

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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'A Quiet Place' Packs On The Thrills But Not The Noise

This week I finally got around to watching 'A Quiet Place' although the environment in which I watched it impacted my experience of it.

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I made my long journey back to America this week, which means I watched a good amount of in-flight entertainment. To start off my 8 hour flight I decided, upon my sister's suggestion, to FINALLY watch A Quiet Place and boy am I glad I did.

For starters, because I watched it on a flight, the audio wasn't the best to begin with. After 'tuning' my headphone jack just right, I was able to get 75% audio and only 25% static. Which for the film I was watching ended up working to my benefit.

A Quiet Place takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, taken over by monsters with supernatural hearing abilities. This means that our protagonists, a family of 5, must live life in silence if they want to survive. Although how the world came to be like this is never explained, that curiosity quickly goes away as the viewer quickly becomes fascinated by all the little adjustments they make to survive.

Lead by the patriarch of the family, played by John Krasinski who also directed the film, the family 'monster' proofs or in this case, 'sound' proofs their home. They have set paths covered in sand to reduced noise when walking, they eat on leaves instead of plates, and in case of a sound emergency, they have fireworks on standby in a nearby field.

The most terrifying/breath catching sequence of the film by far is when the matriarch, played by Emily Blunt, goes into labor with a monster looming and stalking her throughout the house. With the rest of her family out gathering food, she is left alone and must remain noiseless in order for her and her coming child to survive.

This sequence strongly demonstrates the strengths of this film, as throughout it, the audience feels the pressure to be quiet as well. Unlike other horror flicks which rely on jump scares, and decades old tropes. This film relies on the audiences involvement, even though it of course has no impact on the film. This is the perfect film to watch home alone at night if that is your thing as the intimate sounds the film do have get heightened from a more personally experience, which was not the case for me as every 15 minutes or so there was an announcement from a stewardess.

Because I had the experience of watching it on a plane, every sudden noise of stream of AC had me shiver in my seat. This to me proved that this film and its lack of noise narrative worked. After all, who isn't afraid of things that go bump in the night or in this case plane?

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