Now that school is back in session, some of you, students in particular, may be searching for time to write what you want to write. Your teachers will undoubtedly have you writing many papers for your classes, but on subjects and topics that they choose for you. So with a heavy class load, homework, extracurricular activities, and chores, not to mention spending time with your friends and family, where on Earth are you ever going to find the time to write what you want to?
This is a question writers of all ages and genres have been asking themselves for years. In the past two decades, our lives have gotten really hectic. There’s work, family life, taking care of the kids and the house, all of the organizations parents join at their kids’ schools, and so much more. It seems that we as a society are running around like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off. Now that you teens are back in school and loaded up with schoolwork and after-school activities, you see what your parents go through.
But there is a light at the other end of the tunnel. By taking a few extra steps every day, you can carve some free time for your personal writing to make it onto your daily schedule.
1. Create a To-Do List
a. Write down everything you have to do on a given day: go to school, go to your after-school activities, do homework, do chores, hang out with friends and family
b. Write down the times each of these activities take place, including the approximate amount of time each activity will take to complete.
c. Now look at any empty spaces in your schedule, and add the word “write” to them.
2. Use Your Writing Time Wisely
a. Now that you’ve found some free time in your schedule for your writing, use it wisely by setting up everything you’ll need in advance, including making sure your computer is ready to go, your printer has plenty of ink and paper, and you have anything else you’ll need for your writing session ready to go.
b. Know what you plan to write during each session. You can do this by first glancing at what you wrote at your previous session, then continuing; by making notes at the end of each session about what you want to write about next; or by making an outline of your project you can follow during each session.
3. Prepare for the Next Writing Session
a. Before you end your writing session each day, prepare for the next day by writing down some notes on what comes next in your project, cleaning up your work area so it’s ready to go the next day, and organizing all of your writing materials back where they belong.
b. At the end of each session, write yourself some tips and ideas you thought might have helped you during your writing session for the next one.
Although it still might not be your ideal writing situation, by following these ideas, you’ll be more organized, better prepared, and ready to write when your available writing time does pop up. Don’t be too put off if you find you only have a little time each day, or even each week, to fit your writing sessions into your schedule. Be ready for them so that you can make the best of each one. Happy writing!
Andrea Buginsky is the author of "The Chosen," available from Solstice Publishing.