Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School - Back to Writing

Let's just take a moment to appreciate the fact that we all learned how to read in school. Reading is the best gift ever (well, one of them!), and it allows us to jump into amazing stories. All we have to do is sit down and go for it. With the school year kicking into high gear, I got to thinking about all of the past semesters in which I juggled tons of homework with tons of writing projects. How is it possible to maintain consistent writing habits when you're in high school, college, or even just working a full-time job outside of writing? Here are some tips that came in handy for me when I was a student: 

  • Treat it like homework. Let me put it this way: if you really want to be a successful writer, despite the fact that you're taking two thousand units (or something like that), you've got to make time to write. So, treat it like a very important homework assignment. It's just something else that you're doing to further your skill-set and education. Plus, making yourself write every day will do something else; it will enforce something that is rarely (if ever) practiced in high school and college: SELF-DISCIPLINE. Really. You'll be a better person for it. 
  • Stay inspired. All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl). Give yourself the creative freedom and space to want to write. Don't write during the last five minutes before bedtime - writing three sentences between brushing your teeth and gargling with salt water doesn't count. Set aside quiet time. Relaxed time.  Writing shouldn't be a stressor. It should make your life better. 
  • Keep Reading (And Watching). This is a great excuse to browse the bookstores and watch the newest movies at the theater! Keep up with the latest trends in literature, explore new genres and always remember to have fun! 
  • Don't make excuses. Don't let someone talk you into doing something other than writing during your designated writing time. DON'T DO IT. Once you start, you can't undo the bad habit. Writing time is only for writing time, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise (unless it's an absolute emergency, but you see my point, right?). 

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