Writing and your Other Life: Juggling Obligations

Not all of you are college students like myself (although I’m willing to bet that more of you are than just Natalie), but all of us have one thing in common: We don’t just write.

I’ve been asked how I find the time to write, and I even wrote a post on it at one point, but as the semester gets to that ridiculously busy time and NaNoWriMo reigns supreme, and I find it necessary to write another post, from the other side of the fence.

This afternoon, I realized that I forgot to eat between homework and my rejection letter and reaching my 50k goal for NaNoWriMo. And I mean, I got to about 3:30 and realized that all I’d eaten since I’d gotten up at 9 in the morning was a cracker and a slice of cheese.

This is not good.


Writing is wonderful, and for some of us it seems more important than breathing. But there’s the world we live in in our minds and then there’s real life. When I walk from room to room, I can see my characters. When I talk to myself, lying away at night with the lamp on, sitting in my bed and saying words, my characters are interacting, working out the nuances of their dialogue.

And that’s all well and good. You might get funny looks talking to yourself walking down the street, but it doesn’t really interfere with living your life.

On the other hand, if you’re doing things like forgetting to eat, neglecting to get the proper amount of sleep, forgoing any social contact in order to get done whatever you’re working on in your writing…. You probably need a break to reevaluate how you’re managing your time.

Even my most fool-proof time management techniques require something very important of me: Thinking about what I do. I need to stop and make myself think about every bit of time I’m using, and if I choose to skip something, it better be because I don’t need it and it does more harm than benefit, and not because I really want to finish that chapter before the day’s over. The chapter will be there tomorrow.

So, as a recap, writing is good, forgetting to eat is bad, and you need to make sure that if you’re going to be a writer you need to step back and think about all of your actions and if you’re choosing not to get a glass of water think about if it’s because you’re not thirsty or because you’re busy writing.

Getting water takes about four seconds and drinking it less than a minute. Get the water, people.




About Charlotte Blackwood

Charlotte Blackwood is a self-employed aspiring author working on perfecting her first novella/ first novel. She is a current student at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA. If you're looking for a reading list (someday she'll add her own works to the list), she's currently supporting Anna Karenina, anything by Dickens, anything by Tolkien, anything by JK Rowling, A Song of Ice and Fire, and The Hunger Games.

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