Saturday, August 28, 2010

Life of a Student Writer

Here we are once again, another school year has begun. Students all over the world are gearing up, excited to see their friends, and then immediately counting the number of days till next summer. Parents, on the other hand, are kindly waiting till their children are out the door to do the happy dance.

What does this do for a writer though? I just finished my first week at a new university. Exciting? Yeah. Tiring? YES. It’s all I can do to be writing this post instead of going limp on the couch. Plus it’s the first time I have to travel any distance to get to school. Add the travel time to the other obligations the day requires plus homework, studying, extra credit that you know you need, random life occurrences, and what’s that thing that most people do every day? Uh, oh that’s right, eating and sleeping. I forgot about those.

This is where I want to give parent/writers a big, virtual, gold star. Now, I’m not a parent but this is what I imagine a day might be like. Get kids up, get kids dressed, feed kids, make lunches, get kids to school, grocery shopping, changing diapers, coming home, clean house, get kids from school, take kids somewhere, bring them back, make sure homework is done, bathe them, stop fights, argue, hug, change, and put them to bed. Did I get everything? Probably not. Moms and Dads have a lot on their plates.

That being said, where do we put our writing time? It’s a little tough when something in our real life is constantly calling our attention and if we don’t time it right then something gets the short end of the stick. Too much attention to writing can cause school work to slip our minds. A late night means getting to class late and not being able to pay attention. I know I do that.

This is what I told myself about my schedule: Do things early. Simpler said than done, I know, but hear me out. If I can do my homework during my break between classes instead of waiting till I got home I’ll have the time when I get home to write. Study a little everyday instead of hardcore studying the week before the test. Cook meals ahead of time so all you have to do is pull things out of the fridge or the freezer and heat it up. Give it a try.

Have you tried this before? Did it give you more time? What do you give up for your writing time?


  1. Well, I've never been good at the 'do things early' approach, especially when I was at school. I told myself I should get homework out of the wat but - pfft.

    These days I'm fortunate to have no other obligations but writing. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Doesn't keep me from procrastination, though.

  2. Yeah, I need to practice what I preach. So far it hasn't really been an issue this year. Well, it has only been a week though.

    Procrastination is also something I need to work on. Seems like if I sit down to do something, writing included, a couple minutes later I'm thinking of something else that just has to be done. Like staying on the computer instead of going to bed when I know that I have to be up in the morning... Lol.

  3. I came across your blog because you commented under me on another blog I follow. I've enjoyed reading your posts and hope to follow your journey as a writer.

    I'm a writer, as well, though a playwright. My first full length play was produced last year and my second full length play is currently in production. While I still consider myself a playwriting newbie, I have found it easiest to write when I am able to devote several hours at a time to my works, even if it means I can't devote any more time to writing for another few weeks. I'll often spend a day writing from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep (even eating meals in front of my computer) just to get all of my ideas fleshed out, and then I'll spend two or three weeks contemplating what I wrote and what I still need to write. I find that if I can devote twelve or fourteen hours at a time to writing once every two or three weeks, I really get a lot more accomplished than if I try to write for an hour every day for the same number of weeks.

    I can't say I envy your situation. I'm a recent college graduate, and I had absolutely no time to write (or read) for pleasure when I was a student. So I think it's great that you're still trying to find time to write even though the semester has begun.

  4. Wow. That has to be exciting to see one of your works performed. Congrats on that!

    I get distracted pretty easily so working all day probably wouldn't go to well for me. Lol. I found that I could work at intervals throughout the day but only if I have things outlined already.

    Thanks though. The first couple of weeks of classes actually hasn't been too bad. Let's hope it stays that way. :)