This week has been really busy for me and it felt as though last Monday was yesterday. Of course, I’m glad it’s Saturday now despite my piles of assignments because I get to have an excuse from them and blog. ꒰ ∩´∇ `∩꒱
And today, I’ll be talking a bit about that business in life–whether it’s school, work, or something else, it’s generally known how challenging it is to balance everything and writing.
So, without further ado, I present to you Author Health: Balancing Life and Writing.
1. Temet nosce–Know Thyself
If you are time-pressed and the only thing you can take away from today’s post is this, that’s okay…
And that’s how important it is to know yourself.
It’s an obvious point, but I think it’s the ones that are too fundamental and we tend to forget about it. Take a moment to ask yourself, Where am I? Are you at a place where your creativity feels mentally stuck? Do you feel a bit overwhelmed with everything that’s going on? Is there a story you desperately need to tell now?
Even if it feels like there’s a lot going on, chances are, if there is a story that you desperately need to tell, you’ll be able to make time to write. But if not, maybe it’s a season of rest.
2. List things up
Once you have an honest assessment of where you’re at with writing, list up all the things that are occupying your time. For example, if you’re a full-time student, write down all your classes and an estimate of how much time you need for each class. You might be working part-time or full-time. That should go on the list as well. Any other activities you do like sports or housework can also count.
Then, sort them into priorities–this gives you a clear idea of what you absolutely have to do and how much time it takes.
This is where you enter writing.
Think about where you can potentially carve off time or exchange it for a writing session. It doesn’t have to be long–think anywhere from five to thirty minutes. Chances are, you’ll be able to find a slot of time for writing.
3. To write or not?
When you have a clear idea of when you can write, the only thing left to do is to actually do it–that is, write.
But often, this last step is the one that takes the most effort. One thing that has made it easier for me to write consistently is by choosing days when I’ll write. It’s likely that it won’t fit into your schedule or energy to write every single day. I’ve tried to write every day in the past and I know that it requires a lot–mental energy, physical energy, time–which you might not have when there’s a lot on your plate.
So, choosing my “writing days” and scheduling writing sessions ahead of time has helped me a lot. Since I have a full-time course load this term, my day is quite full. Add in work, housework, and extracurricular activities, there’s no chance for me to sit down and write during the daytime. This means I can only write in the early mornings (since evening does not work well with my body rhythm). And because that’s the only time I know I can immerse myself in writing, I find that I’m more focused and not willing to waste time doing other things.
It’ll probably look different for you; just know that every day, we make a conscious choice–to write or not. Whichever choice you make, it’s possible to find a balance between writing and life.
Additional thing that helps me in my writing session:
- Sound-blocking music/earphones. I don’t think there’s an easier way to get back into my writing mood than my heist music. ( ¯꒳¯ )ｂ✧
- Designated writing space. I usually write at my desk, dining table, or on my bed. Wherever it is, it’s the place that I know I won’t get distracted by myself or someone else. *totally not looking at my siblings*
- Writing journal & WIP notebook. I’m an analog person, so I find it useful to write some of my notes in a physical notebook. I also have a writing journal where I track my progress, designate writing schedules &c.
Lastly, be prepared to be more lenient towards yourself even if things don’t always work out the way you hope they do. Writing is a dependent variable that’s affected by life–to some extent. It’s okay even if you take time. The thing that matters is the process. ଘ(੭*ˊᵕˋ)੭* ੈ♡‧₊˚
And that’s it for today!
Thanks for reading! Where are you in your writing right now? What are some things that help you stay focused on writing? Do you have a story you’re dying to tell? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!