School Is Hampering My Writing Career

Here’s the deal, readers.  I want to write.  I really do.  I want to work on my latest project day in and day out until it’s done and I can finally say I’ve finished at least one draft of a novel.  But here’s the other thing: I’m a teenager.  I’m still in high school, and as such I have other responsibilities.  Six hours of my time is spent every day at school, and then in winter I have swim practice for three more hours, and then I have homework and on the weekends, like now, I’m trying to study for the midterms that are fast approaching.

Readers, my question is this: how do I find the time to write when every second I spend actually writing just feels like it’s pulling me away from the work I’m legally obligated to do?  Seemingly, the only solution would be to have a set schedule for homework and writing and keep the two separate (not to mention stop going on meaningless Internet sites when I’m supposed to be doing either).

Maybe I’m just feeling stressed lately, what with all the tests my teachers want to fit in before the holidays and aforementioned midterm study-guide-making and whatnot.

The truth is, though, finding time to write is always a big problem for me during the school year.  During the summer, sure, I can spend hours with my characters, but I can’t just spend my summers writing.  I have to write more often if I want to get better at it.

And that means balancing school and writing more effectively.

Readers, this is a short post today, and I realize it’s not up to my usual standards of quality.  Sorry about that, but I have a parting question for all of you who are still in school: how do you find the time to write when you have other obligations that take up your daytime hours?  I’d love to hear some of your strategies while I try and figure my own out.

Happy reading!

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15 thoughts on “School Is Hampering My Writing Career

  1. I’m afraid my answer is very simple, I don’t. When I was younger I wrote so many stories, long, short, attempted novels etc, but litrally for the last 4 – 5 years, I havn’t written a single thing unless it’s homework, because I don’t have the time. It makes me so sad, I’m not looking to base my entire career around writing like you are, but it’s still an important part of me, and I miss it. It’ my ultimate dream to complete a novel and get it published one day. But I don’t know when I’ll ever get the time, I’m completely frazzled with school work, I spend pretty much every waking minute of my free time either doing homework or sleeping. I’ve actually been thinking of doing a post on this myself.
    I’ve decided that this summer holiday, I’m going to write, non-stop. Write until I can’t write any more, because school won’t be able to get in my way!
    So if you discover the answer, let me know! Haha

    • It looks like we’re in the same boat with this one. I’ve gone a long time without writing anything, but I just feel like I need to keep up the practice. And I’m with you about writing in the summer; that’s the best time to really sit down and get something DONE.

      • Yeah, I’m thinking of attempting some exercises via my blog e.g. 1000 words based around a picture or a theme etc to get me back in the swing of things!

  2. Unfortunately we all have priorities and they must come first. However, if you manage any (even if only an hour) free time you may get into writing and doing other things you enjoy, that will help. Sometimes I don’t have much time to read and I love to read more than I love to write, so I make sure that every night right before bed that I get to read for one hour. It’s not much and sometimes it takes me forever to read a whole book, but at least I get to do it daily.

    Good luck to you!

  3. I would give out advice, but I’m afraid I’m no better at balancing school and other commitments than you are. I do, however, get a lot of writing done during lunch at school. We have a 45-minute lunch period, so even if I spend 15 minutes on eating and socializing alone, I still have a solid half hour of writing. I also tend to use my study halls as writing times. I just keep a school-related tab open so any passing teachers will think I’m working on a lab report, not a fantasy novel.

    • My lunch periods are really short, and in any case I don’t think taking my laptop to school would end well. 🙂 But I guess that’s why we all have our own ways of finding time. I’m glad that works for you!

  4. I run into the same problem as well. When does your winter break start? Today’s my first day but I’m not sure about other school. During school, try to get school work done a put away as quickly (and efficiently) as you can. Hopefully, you’ll have a little margin of time to breakout the notebook /laptop/typewriter and write away 🙂 Hope this helps!

  5. This is where I wish I could be more helpful. *puts on glasses* Your lack of time and your dragging emotions are most probably due to stress. This happens to myself often, and really the only way I find time to write and study simultaneously is to simply give yourself a reason. Study on and off. One hour of whatever you have to be doing, and the other contributing to your story somehow. It doesn’t even have to be block writing–planning, researching, and writing exercises count, too. And this doesn’t have to take up the whole day. Set aside an afternoon or so, or get up in the morning and get it over with.

    Also, can you listen to instrumental music while you do work or writing? I would recommend something along these lines, because it definitely helps me relax and think more clearly (sorry for the huge popup):

    This is the best I can offer you…sorry I can’t offer more help. *sheepishly takes off glasses* But that comment about becoming a gypsy should work well, too. I mean, how genius is that?

    • That’s a huge help. Thanks for the suggestions! I think I am feeling stressed what with a lot of recent tests and such, but the upcoming break will help a lot with that.

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