A Writer’s Essentials To Get Through The Year

Few things in life are essential. The rest is just trivial. But, as a writer, you need:

Thick skin. For all the times society rejects you.

A place to keep your rejection letters. You can store them in a cool, dry place before burning them in your fireplace.

Notebooks. Napkins just don’t cut it.

A playlist for every occasion. It seems like every scene calls for a different song.

Comfortable clothes. PJs are an absolute must.

A box of tissues. If you’re not crying, your readers aren’t either.

Books on books on books. Because when you’re not writing, you’re reading.

A book deal. Every writer needs one.

Chocolate…and more chocolate. Or candy. Cake even.

A pet of some sort. Pets make better company than people.

May you write the next bestseller and make millions this year.

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The Life Of A Student Writer

Being a student and a writer isn’t easy. When I’m not studying, I’m writing. Of course, I have to write a lot for university as well.

I continue to wonder how I’ll manage to balance both identities. Some days, I have no idea how I do everything I want to.

I can’t give up writing. I don’t think I ever will. If worse comes to worse, I may not write as much as I’d like. But a little is better than nothing at all.

I already know the next couple of months won’t be a breeze, but I’ve been in school for most of my life. I have also been creating for a long time. So I like to believe I’ll be fine.

Besides, some of my happiest memories come from telling stories.

Problem being there aren’t enough hours in the day. Why can’t we have twenty-five instead of twenty-four?

As of late, I’ve been thinking m about my writing career. My non-existent writing career. I stand corrected. My mind loves to worry about my life after graduation. Isn’t the unknown great?

Rest assured I’m not going anywhere. I won’t be making drastic changes anytime soon. But I will continue to progress day by day.

Right now it’s enough that I enjoy my writing sessions. I want to experiment more. I need to venture outside of my comfort zone.

As for school, I’ll do the best I can in my classes. I just have to time manage well.

I have plans I hope to execute in 2018. Of course, I’ll keep you posted if and when I publish or republish anything exciting.

A long time ago, I made the conscious choice to start writing. I’m not going back or giving up now.

Where I Am On My Writing Journey

When it comes to writing, I feel like I hold myself back. At least I’m not letting others hold me back too much.

I think my problem isn’t so much that I’m terrified of trying. But rather I try and give up. I’ll attempt to write a story only to abandon it halfway through.

I know I don’t have to stress about my writing career so soon. After all, I’m still in school, and I will be until 2019. But thinking about graduation freaks me out. What am I going to do after university? Where will I work?

I’m borderline unemployable, so I hope writing works out. Ultimately, I want to write full-time, all the time.

Imagine eighty year old me sitting in a rocking chair by the fireplace and squinting at a screen. I kid you not, I already have the eyes of a sixty-year-old. That happens when you don’t win the genetic lottery.

Because I’m lazy, I haven’t done a ton of research up until this point. I’m still trying to improve my writing. First, I need to finish my novels. Once I do then I’ll figure out my next move.

I’ve always dreamed of being traditionally published. I’m kind of on the fence right now in terms of which route to take. I’m not sure what to pursue anymore.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind self publishing. I won’t shy away from the work. I’d welcome the challenge with open arms.

There’s a part of me that wants to try the traditional path though. If I fail, I can self publish. And if I fail to publish anything, please shout at me. Talk some sense into my thick head.

There’s so much to think about and work through. Like I’m so fond of saying, I’ll take life word by word, day by day. Maybe down the road, I can look back and laugh at my past self.

A Look At The Year Ahead

I can’t predict the future. But I can plan in advance. So this is my attempt to look at the year ahead.

I’m currently in my second semester of my third year at university. That’s crazy. Still, I’m looking forward to being in fourth year. Even though I’d love to ace everything, I’m content with not failing anything.

Right now, I’m excited for the upcoming baseball season. I don’t know why. Unfortunately that also means I’ll be making a lot of bad similes and analogies.

I have no idea what kind of work I’ll find over the summer, but I’m hoping to find something. On my own time, I intend to keep doing what I love.

It should go without saying that I want to continue reading and reviewing books all year long. My wallet will hate me. But my brain won’t.

This blog isn’t going anywhere. I promise to be more creative and less repetitive. My aim is to create content I enjoy. Here’s hoping you enjoy reading my work. Let’s see if I can keep up with being a good blogger and commenting on blogs. Probably not but a girl can dream.

I never know where writing will take me. I lied. It takes me to magical places. As always, I have some fun projects in the works. I can’t wait to share them with the world.

Somehow, I start my fourth and final year of university in September. That feels so far away, yet too close at the same time.

I also plan to drive more once I’ve fully recovered from the accident.

What are your plans for 2018?

Getting Hit By A Car: The Day After

I’m sore. I’m tired. Everything hurts. But I’m alive.

I have a story to tell, many in fact. I’ll be talking about this incident for a long time.

To be honest, I need some time to work through things. I can’t ask you to stick around, but I’d appreciate it if you do.

So much of my life has changed, yet I want the core of who I am to stay the same.

I suspect I’ll be a broken record on repeat for a long time. Then again, I was a broken record before. I’m even more broken after.

Before and after. That’s how I think about my life now. Before the accident. After the accident.

I’m trying to take life one day at a time. I can’t bring myself to think too far ahead. I have a long road ahead of me. Hopefully.

The physical pain will heal faster than the mental and emotional. I’m not sure all the pain will ever truly go away. Still, it’ll fade with time.

I like to think I can get back on track again soon. If I miss a day of blogging, bear with me. If my posts become boring, read something else. Life’s too short.

Personally, I write to make sense of what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling. So I hope to look back one day and know I made it out okay.

As always, I can’t thank you all enough.

How To Write Every Day

Because I know all about writing every day…

Invest in expensive stationery. So you’re excited to use new pens. Then again, maybe it’s better to invest in nice but not too nice writing utensils. That way you won’t go broke replacing them. At the very least, write with something that isn’t frustrating to use.

Invest in locks. You can lock all the doors and windows. Anything to stop family members from barging in and invading your personal space. Just lock yourself away. Don’t be accessible to anybody until you emerge from you den.

Invest in noise cancelling headphones. For all those times you can’t control your environment. Perfect if you work at a coffee shop or write on the train but still prefer some silence. Listening to a baby’s cries piercing your eardrums is not conducive to productivity.

Invest in mugs. There’s nothing more annoying than having to get up and refill when you’re in the middle of a scene.

Invest in drinks. Choose whatever you prefer. Water. Coffee. Tears. Avoid beverages you despise to make your writing experience more enjoyable.

Invest in snacks. Snacking and writing go hand in hand. Besides, working while hungry isn’t a good idea in theory or in practice.

Invest in PJs. Are you going to do most of your writing in a suit or skirt? At the minimum, comfortable clothes are a must.

Invest in a bed. Ideally, buy a big one that practically calls your name at night.

Invest in books. When you’re not writing, you’re reading. Stories inspire stories.

Invest in yourself. You could take a class in writing or attend a conference on editing. Be the best writer you can be.

Invest in your future. Take care of yourself today so you can do better tomorrow. Eat. Exercise. Sleep. Live like a normal human being. You’re not some superhuman who can skip out on basic survival needs.

Writing every day is easy, said no one ever.

How To Write Under Time Pressure

Writing is hard enough as it is without the added pressure of having a limited amount of time.

Budgeting time takes on a greater significance when you only have a few hours to write too many essays.

I’ve extracted tips from my tired brain about writing under pressure:

  • Write fast but not too fast. This goes for both handwriting and typing.
  • Production not perfection. Don’t strive to be perfect. Do strive to be done.
  • Be concise, clear. Try to know what you’re writing about to avoid beating around the bush.
  • Prepare accordingly. There’s nothing like a simulation of the real thing. Studying and reviewing is good. Replicating the test conditions as closely as possible is great.
  • Don’t forget to breathe. Like the protagonist in many YA novels, let out that breath you didn’t know you were holding.
  • Try not to overthink. Most teachers aren’t trying to trick you.
  • Just write something. Part marks are better than no marks at all. Get an idea down. It may lead to other ideas.
  • Make connections. Concepts often interconnect. Draw out similarities and differences. Compare or contrast. Brainstorm with a mind map. Outline in a way that work for you.
  • Write until you have nothing else to say. Stick with what you know when possible. Talking about what you don’t know makes your life harder.
  • Use the time given. There’s no reason to stop writing thirty minutes into a three hour exam.
  • Take care of any business beforehand. That way, you’re in a good place physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.
  • Eat and drink beforehand. A hydrated body beats a hungry one.
  • Move on. Especially when you’re stumped. Tackle the next question. You can always come back to a problem later.
  • Play to your strengths. Downplay your weaknesses.
  • Answer what’s asked. Ideally, you do this right off the bat.

If nothing else, remember writing under time pressure is a skill you can cultivate.

How To Break Out Of Blogger’s Block

I don’t know what’s worse: blogger’s block or writer’s block.

Either way, here are some ways to break out of blogging slumps.

Reread old posts.

It might inspire a new one. Or you may fall down into the rabbit hole of your greatest hits. There’s no losing here.

Work on something else.

You can write a poem, a play. You could even do something completely unrelated to blogging like building a bookshelf. If you want something done, do it yourself. Unless you have two left hands. Then maybe enlist the help of your uncle instead.

Grind through it.

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. The bullet doesn’t always taste so bad.

Take a break.

Get a drink. Grab a Kit Kat. Go for a long walk.

Break the blocks.

You Know You Are A Writer When

You don’t have days off. Thanksgiving? You’re thanking your fictional characters for following the outline. Christmas? You’re opening a word processor to work on a novel. New Year? You’re counting down the days until your book gets published.

You eavesdrop on every conversation. You listen to your mom gossiping with her friends. You listen to a man on a bus talking to his wife over the phone. You’ll lower the volume of your music or remove your earphones completely to overhear what others are saying.

You rather stay at home and write than go out and socialize. You’re tempted to decline every invitation ever.

You bring a notebook and pen with you everywhere you go. Like on the odd occasion your friends manage to drag you outside. At the very least, you have the notes app on your phone ready to record any idea that strikes.

You write New Year’s resolutions about writing. Write more. Write every day. Write the next bestseller.

You have a list of chores or tasks in your head for when you should be writing but don’t feel like it. So you tackle every item on that list from doing laundry to meal planning. You decide to run errands you’ve been avoiding because you’re a master procrastinator.

You’re either too busy writing or too bored not writing. There’s no in between. Those are the two modes you operate in.

I Rather Write Than Talk

I rather write than talk. Of course, I don’t always have a choice.

In social situations, I often wish I was doing something else like writing.

I just want to write. Is that too much to ask for?

I’m in the midst of writing a story. I’m not sure where it’s going exactly, but I feel excited. I’ve been having so much fun following my characters around.

I have every intention to follow them around some more. I know the universe doesn’t always work out according to plan, but a writer can hope for the best.

Honestly, I’m not sure what I’d do if I didn’t write. If I couldn’t.

It’s a lot more fun facing a page than facing a person. There’s no judgement with the former. I can be myself. I don’t have to censor, filter. That’s when I’m at my happiest.

Besides, having an extended conversation with someone can be so much work.