Juggling Writing and College: a losing battle

So, this semester I decided to spread myself too thin. In the words of Bilbo Baggins, I spread myself like “butter over too much bread.” Between 7 classes and 2 jobs, I’m beginning to fear for my sanity. There’s only so much a student can do about school, only so much studying to do before your brain starts to reject everything it hears. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about the 2 jobs: I’ve gotta feed my cats somehow.

So how do I manage to fit in any time to write? I still get plenty of sleep at night, and I still manage to get in time for fun things, like swimming on Thursdays, TV on Fridays, and skiing on Saturdays. I designate my time: I study inbetween classes, and I write my book ideas incessantly, right as I think about them. Then I slowly cultivate these ideas in my head, and once I get home, I spend an hour writing. For me, only one hour doesn’t feel like enough, but that’s honestly all I can afford right now in my college career.
I always hated the idea of organizing my time. Life should be spontaneous, right? But really I can’t let myself risk my grades or my jobs like that. I still probably spend more time than I should writing. I write when I should be doing my homework, and it has bitten me in the butt quite a few times, but my books are demanding mistresses that want more of my time.
What you need to do is sit down and list all the things you need to do a week. Perhaps these things change every week. The trick is to designate and organize your time well. Lay out the hours for homework, and then lay out the hours for fun – like working out and writing. Schedule it all in that week, giving yourself enough time to sleep – bedtime is the best time for coming up with book ideas and figuring out that wicked plot twist- and enough time to enjoy your life. While I may be an aspiring author right now, I still have deadlines, and my professors are not happy when I miss them.
Once you have your schedule laid out, follow it for a week or two, then your life will become more fluid. There’s no need to follow your schedule with neurotic worry that you’re going to miss anything. You should know, by now, what needs to be done, and when it can get done.



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