by Tegwyn Hughes, jaBlog! Blogger
This September, I am going into my senior year of high school.
In Canada, this means that the marks I receive are the most important so far in my life because they will determine the universities I am accepted into. On top of that, I am a volunteer, rugby player, and club head. With all of these responsibilities on my shoulder, I find myself wondering how on earth I can find time for one of my favourite hobbies–writing.
So how do you balance your needs and your wants so that you can keep writing?
To help myself, and anybody else struggling to make the time for writing, I decided to come up with 5 strategies and tips to ensure that you can write during the school year.
1. A Little Goes a Long Way
Writing doesn’t have to mean toiling over your laptop or notebook or typewriter for hours, eyes glued to the words, churning out works of art. Sometimes, it can mean adding 15 minutes worth of content to your short story. Sometimes, it means jotting down a haiku in the margin of your calculus notes.
The most important thing to remember is that even writing a little bit keeps you writing. It’s okay to not have hours of time set aside to write, as long as you set aside time in the first place. It’s the thought that counts!
2. Keep a Writing Journal
Has the inspiration to write ever hit you at the worst time: on the bus, at breakfast, in class? You try to hang on to your ideas long enough to sit down and write them out, but by the time you get the chance, you’ve forgotten what you wanted to write in the first place. I know that this happened to me way too often before I got fed up and threw an old notebook into my bag.
Now, whenever I get the idea for the next best novel, I can pull out my writing journal and quickly jot down what I want the future me to remember. This trick is amazing for another reason: you will no longer procrastinate writing because you “have nothing to write about.” A journal full of your own prompts and ideas should keep you busy!
3. Make It Fun!
The great thing about living in modern society is our access to the Internet. There are so many cool resources online to help writers stay motivated and on-task. One of my personal favourite websites is 750words.com.
This website asks you to write 750 words (roughly 3 pages) of text every day. You get points for writing in the first place, or completing the word goal. Not only does it use these points to encourage you, but after you are done writing the website gives you feedback and statistics on the content of your work. It feels like a fun game. I would definitely recommend it if you want encouragement to write every day.
4. Find a Community
You aren’t the only one struggling to write in our fast-paced world. There are tons of people in the exact same situation as you, looking for encouragement and ideas. That’s probably why there are so many websites, forums, and even real-world groups dedicated to writing and making friends with other writers. By branching out and exploring your local and online groups, you can find writers just like you.
Not only does this give you a space to vent about your work, but it can easily inspire you to write more. I have one friend who does NaNoWriMo, and when I was trying (and failing) to complete it as well, we would write side by side, sometimes having races to see who could write the most in a five-minute window. It definitely kept me working hard!
LTC has a Facebook writing group. It’s zero pressure and fun to connect with other LTC site users.
5. Don’t Make It A Chore
Sometimes, life happens. If you have three projects to complete, a room to clean, and a party coming up on the weekend, it’s okay not to write.
In an ideal world, everyone would have two hours magically free every time inspiration struck, but that just isn’t realistic. Don’t beat yourself up because you really, truly, have no time. Thinking that way will just lead you to treating the thing you love like a chore! It’s better to write once a month and be truly passionate about it than to write every single day and hate it.
With these five easy ways to keep writing under your belt, you will find yourself entering this school year with motivation, inspiration, and a passion for writing that can’t be stopped!