“I’m a university student, and with the amount of readings and assignments I have [to] do, I barely have any time to write. Do you have any tips/advice on how to keep up with writing even with a busy schedule?”
I’m going to have to be really honest here and state that I don’t have the answer. I’m still trying to figure it out.
I have a tendency to put my writing above my family (the equivalent, I guess, to being a university student, maybe?). The last couple of months, in fact, has been really rough.
Not to get too personal, but it got to the point where Sarabeth told me to not do any writing at the house because she didn’t want the kids or herself to be flat-out ignored while they clambered for my attention.
I hate to admit it, but that worked. I finished the first draft of my YA novel, which I’m extremely proud of and excited to release to you all when it’s fully edited and revised.
But I know you can’t just take off from college any time you want. But if you’re observant, you’ll notice you have more time than you think (it’s just hidden in the clutter of your full itinerary).
Aside from my family I also work a full-time job and I sit at my desk with a pen and pad and jot down notes and ideas I have during the day. I did the same thing when I was in school. I’ve learned to “split my brain,” so to speak. Even though I’m paying attention to what’s before me, I’ve tried the other side of my brain to run a constant reel of whatever book I’m working on.
Ideas don’t take breaks. We do.
The point to all of this is, you’ve got to find a way that works best for you. Perhaps recording your thoughts as you walk from class to class. Instead of taking a TV break from studying, you write.
Delete the games on your phone.
Maybe you’re in a relationship where he/she isn’t encouraging you in your work/dreams. If you’re married, work it out. If you’re not, dump ’em.
Prioritize. And then cut out the clutter that doesn’t need to be there.
You’ve got to be willing to lose sleep. I’m up at 4 AM or earlier most mornings to get a head start. Someone told me recently that the mornings are when your best ideas come out, because you’re fresh off the battery pack, so to speak.
You have to make the hard decisions to get done what you really want to get done. Ask yourself every day: “Do you really want to be a writer, or is that just what you tell people because it sounds cool?” (This can apply to any dream job.)
I wish I had an easier answer to this, but I just don’t. And I can fill up about four more posts sharing ideas and failed attempts. I’m still learning. I hope this helps, anyway.
Follow me on Twitter: @atoy1208 and Facebook. Why? Because you’re going to get a front-row seat watching this average guy start a publishing company from scratch. And I’m going to need you to root me on.