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.
86
views

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

Popular Right Now

14 Inspirational 'Winnie The Pooh' Quotes For College Kids Feeling Like Eeyore

Of course he with the help of his friends.

16920
views

Winnie the Pooh and his friends were my best buds as a child. Now, as a college student, I've realized they knew more about life than I thought.

These 14 quotes from the 'Winnie the Pooh' movies, TV shows, and books, is getting me through this difficult semester, and maybe it will help you, too.

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -Christopher Robin

"The nicest thing about rain is that it always stops. Eventually." -Eeyore

"The things that make me different are the things that make me." -Piglet

"It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine." -Eeyore

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." -Winnie the Pooh

"Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering." -Piglet

"Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be." -Eeyore

"Spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count." -Rabbit

"There's no difference between falling a thousand feet to the jagged rocks below and tumbling out of bed." -Tigger

"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day." -Winnie the Pooh

"I always get to where I'm going by walking away from where I have been." -Winnie the Pooh

"To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks." -Eeyore 

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for other to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." -Piglet

"When you are a bear of very little brain, and you think of things, you find sometimes that a thing which seemed very thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it." -Winnie the Pooh

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

22 Items That Are Worth Splurging On

You shouldn't always break the bank on buying things, but these items are definitely worth the extra couple bucks.

Saige
Saige
101
views

You can find a lot of items you need/want that are inexpensive, but they don't always hold up. These items are definitely ones you should spend a little extra money to be sure they are good quality and will last.

1. Wallets and purses

When you use something everyday, you want it to hold up and be able to last you a long time.

2. Boots 

It is definitely necessary to get boots that keep you warm and are comfortable to wear, especially if they have a heel.

3. Tennis shoes

Whether you are using tennis shoes to workout in just to wear casually, you want them to hold up and be comfortable to be active in.

4. Jeans

Jeans are a necessity for every outfit and you can wear them all year long! Buying a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly will make you feel like you can conquer the world.

5. Jewelry 

It is definitely worth it to spend the extra dollar on jewelry so it doesn't tarnish, and for me, my skin is very sensitive so I really only can wear real gold or silver earrings.

6. Leggings

When buying leggings, it is worth to spend more money so they don't get holes easily, aren't see through, and if you are like me and wear them every day you will definitely get your money worth out of them.

7. Winter coats

Being in college you have to walk far in the cold, so it is definitely worth to spend a little extra money on one and make sure it is warm and withstand any kind of weather that is around you.

8. Swimsuits

Swimsuits are very tricky and hard to find that fit you well. You don't want it to be see-through and you also want it to be able to withstand chlorine and protect you from the sun. You also want your swimsuit to fit you perfectly so it is comfortable and doesn't fall off your become saggy.

9. Bras and underwear

Undergarments are one of the most important parts of your outfit. If they don't fit well, they can make you look bigger than you really are and could potentially not be flattering. Once you have bras and underwear that fit well you will feel so much more comfortable.

10. Perfume

I love to splurge on perfume for many different reasons, but the biggest reason is that the ingredients they use last longer and stick better to your skin.

11. Sunglasses

Everyone loves fun sunglasses and it is so easy to just buy a cute cheap pair, but a good quality pair is definitely worth it because they will last and they protect your eyes better than a $10 pair.

12. Sweaters

In the winter when you are wearing sweaters you want them to keep you warm and to not be a cheap material that won't hold up in the wash. Cheap materials also snag more easily than a sweater that is better quality.

13. Backpacks

Spending a little extra on a backpack can guarantee it will last you a couple years and you can trust to fill it with your computer and it is safe.

14. Makeup

Spending a little extra money on makeup can make a huge difference in how your face reacts to the product and how well it stays on throughout the day.

15. Sheets

You can tell the difference between cheap sheets and ones with better quality. Good quality sheets don't ball up and after washing them, they come out as good as new.

16. Water bottles

Everyone is always constantly drinking water and by investing in a quality plastic or even stainless steel one you can reuse and help save the earth!

17. Laundry detergent

Paying more for quality laundry detergent you can make sure your body won't break out and make sure your laundry really gets clean and smells good.

18. Toilet paper

We all know why it's definitely worth to splurge on buying good quality toilet paper!

19. Professional hair cuts and colors

Not only is it worth to splurge on haircuts and colors but you want to make sure you go to someone you trust so you know for sure you will be happy with the outcome.

20. Hair and face products

If you have sensitive skin you want to make sure you are using the right products so your face doesn't react negatively. You also want to make sure you are using the correct hair products so you don't damage your hair.

21. Alcohol

Splurging on alcohol can help you from getting a bad hangover the next day, and best of all it tastes better.

22. FOOD

Food is always worth splurging on, if you're going to spend money on food you might as well make it worth it.

Saige
Saige

Related Content

Facebook Comments