Upon discovering I was homeschooled: "But how did you socialize as a child?"
Upon discovering I like the character Loki: "But isn't he a bad guy?"
And, most importantly:
Upon discovering I'm a writer, college student, and Lymie: "But how do you balance your writing life with all that?"
The first two questions are easy to answer: 1) They're called play dates. 2) Yes, he kind of is. I said I like character, not his decision-making. I'm not a psychopath.
The third question requires a somewhat longer answer.
2. Schedule your writing time. Seriously. There's a reason one of my very first blog posts was about how to schedule your writing sessions. It's important. You simply won't get anything done if you don't do this. Don't give me that, "But I just don't have enough time." I find that argument vague and unconvincing. Make time. Sure, your schedule will have to switch up with each life change. For instance, my writing schedule is very different this semester due to my current school and work schedule. It'll probably switch up again during the summer. You just have to find what works for you and hold onto it for dear life. At some point it will fall apart and you'll need to find a new plan. That's okay. Life likes to try to fluster you. Don't give it the satisfaction.
4. Take care of your mental health. All of this scheduling and piling things onto your plate? It's stressful and a little heartbreaking. As in people-are-trying-to-kill-me-and-I-just-want-to-eat-some-plums stressful and heartbreaking. You need to find little things that keep you happy. For instance: I have what I call a Kaori Jar (points if you understand why).
5. Be a smart procrastinator. Do you know that you tend to kill a lot of time on Pinterest? Why not spend that time finding, reading, pinning, and tweeting/social media-ing (shhh. That's a word now) helpful writing articles to boost your social media presence? Know you should be either studying your notes for that exam or writing that book but are sick of looking at both of them? Go cook something healthy to eat. Yeah, you're still procrastinating, but you're not wasting time. There is a difference. It will free up a lot of your time because hey, you just did stuff you would (or should) end up doing anyway, so now you have time later on to do other things. Like writing. Or some other high-priority activity.
6. Don't be an idiot and pile on too much. I know it's hard. There are so many things you want to do. Me? I'm a writer, blogger, social media-er (if social media-ing can be a word, this can to), college student, Lyme-fighter, and part-time worker. I really want to start up a Youtube channel, begin a local writer's group, and learn Japanese. But I'm restraining myself because I know that that's just too much for me to do right now. Maybe later, but not now. Know your limits. Be willing to say no to yourself (and others). Understand that you can't do everything and try to be okay with it. Just being you is hard enough. Be proud that you've gotten this far without blowing anything up. Though I guess I shouldn't assume that you've never done that. Gotten this far without killing anyone....? Hopefully I can assume that.
7. Have the Batman Mentality. The what? The Batman Mentality. Come on, people. Get with it. Read this post. Specifically the "Have the 'Because I'm Batman' Mentality" section.
Person-ing (I've come to far to stop now) is hard. Taking on titles like "Parent" and "Employee" and "Student" and "Spouse" and "Sane Person" is a lot. Tacking "Writer" on top of it all is even harder. But it is possible. You'll just have to feel it out. Fall over. Try again. Believe me: You will eventually find a balance.
Take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back for just being you. Now get out there and work on your sense of balance. You can do this. I have faith in you.
How to Write Even When You Don't Feel Like It
11 Tips for Building a Successful Writer's Platform
10 Ways to Make Your Writing Time More Productive
Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every week!