Surviving the Semester as a Writer (+Mini Book Review)

How to Work Writing into Your Schedule

This semester happened to be one of the busiest, tensest ones I’ve dealt with thus far. But, as the saying goes, nothing that happens to a writer is ever wasted. So I’ve got some tips for you to help you out. Use some or all, I don’t care. I’m just here to offer some advice learned from personal experience.

1. Set Yourself A Specific Period of Time to Write

I developed the habit of walking up forty-five minutes earlier than when I needed to, and I dedicated that period of time for my writing. Every morning, except on weekends since my work hours kind of dictated when I could write and when I had to catch up on homework, I would use that forty-five minutes to write as much of my novel as I could.

2. Give Yourself A Word/Page Goal

Make sure it’s realistic and feasible. I personally gave myself a flexible deadline for when I wanted to have this draft of my novel finished, and divided the expected final word count by the number of days. That gave me 550 words per day to write, which meant that I generally had a whole chapter, plus maybe half of another, finished every week. The word count goal encourages you to find time to write beyond your set time so that, assuming you meet the goal each day, you are making steady progress no matter how much you actually manage to write in your Dedicated Writing Time.

3. Recognize that Netflix Binges Are Not Doing You Any Favors

Watching TV can be a good way to unwind, especially after a particularly busy day. Some days, your mind just needs a mental break from both school and writing. You just have to be careful not to make it every day, or even most days. TV shows are time consuming. Movie, even more so. I’ve learned that I can write at least half of my writing goal during the forty-five minute period that it would take to watch an episode, and that for every episode I watch, I’m sacrificing word count. (Either for my novel, or for the blog posts that I do.) Personally, I’d recommend setting yourself a limit of TV shows to watch per week. I think I stuck with three or four (and note that I did say per week, not day).

4. Make Writing Your Rewards System

So we all hate doing things that we have to do, right? It’s why some days I struggle with getting my word count; I feel obligated to do it, which means it doesn’t flow as well. So some days I’d push through some homework, and then give myself a break to write. Since I was stepping away from the things I needed to do in order to do something that I wanted to do, it made writing go that much smoother.

5. Read Before Bed

You’re a writer. Writers have to read, which means you have to fit reading into your schedule just as you have to fit writing into it. So read before you sleep. Even if it’s just a page, or a paragraph, finding ways to push through books can really help your craft.

6. Know that Failure Is An Option

If you are in college, or in high school, whatever, know that school has to come first. Work should also come before writing. The honest-to-God truth is that you have your whole life to write books, and it’s not guaranteed to make you enough money to live off of. So make sure that you’re making school a priority so you can get a legit job, and make sure you’re making work a priority so that you’re able to make a living. Try as hard as you can to make writing goals, to finish whatever novel you’re trying to write, but unless you’ve got a legitimate deadline from a publisher or whatever (in which case, I would consider writing to be “work,” since you know you’re going to get paid for it), don’t beat yourself up if your writing ends up slower going than you’d like.

Book Review

Revenge and the Wild


Author: Michelle Modesto

Genre: Steampunk

Rating: 1 star

This book looked pretty promising, but it quickly showed me it was going to be a letdown. The writing quality was poor, characters felt as if they lacked development, and the plot felt pretty predictable. I admit I didn’t guess the reveal, but it felt like such an unnecessary reveal that I just didn’t care at that point. The book also involves “creatures” that are only found in America even though the lore that they originate from come from all over the world. And they honestly could have been completely cut out of the book. It felt so unnecessary and out of sync with the rest of the story. The only reason I liked this book even a little bit was because I liked the fact that its two protagonists happened to have shiny metal bits to make up for a lost limb or a lost voice.

Writing Prompt


“I would die for you, but I won’t kill for you.”

“I would kill for you, but I won’t die for you.”

Very different characters. Describing very different relationships.


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