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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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


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There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

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I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

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If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

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4. Future Man

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5. The O.C.

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This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

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I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

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I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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