At the start of fall, I had high expectations for my senior year. I knew there would be a lot of schoolwork, but I thought for the most part, I’d be spending my time working on my stories, hanging out with friends, and maybe picking up a few new hobbies along the way. Boy was I wrong. I mentioned a little bit in last week’s post about spending the majority of 2021 writing college essays instead of my stories. This week, I’m giving tips on how to balance college applications and creative writing based on what I’ve learned.
- Start the College Application Process Early. My parents had me start brainstorming essays the second the prompts were released. I’m not saying you need to reload the computer screen constantly but to definitely write and polish your essays early. By doing so, you’ll be able to use your free time during the school year to work on other projects.
- Watch for Burn Out. I didn’t do this and let’s just say it didn’t end well. I’d spend so much time polishing my essays and brainstorming ideas for college that I never had the energy to work on the projects I actually enjoyed. I’d spend hour and hours reworking every single line until I was satisfied. Unsurprisingly, I burnt out quickly because I ignored the signs.
- Use Writing Prompts and Observations. So often I don’t end up working on short stories because I don’t know what I’m going to write. During the fall, I didn’t really have any work in progresses so I had to start from scratch with new ideas each time I picked up my notebook. It was exhausting. Writing observations and ideas based off Pinterest writing prompts gave me something to write about. With them, I stopped procrastinating and started actually writing.
- Music. I have found music to be a very helpful energizer. Whenever I feel too tired to pick up a novella or short story I’m working on, I just listen to one of my playlists and some of my energy comes back. One of my favorite things to do is assign my Spotify playlists to specific project or character and play it when I’m working on that story. If music helps you focus, I highly recommend making WIP specific playlists. It’s really fun and you can make a playlist specifically to help you focus on college essays too!
That’s it for this week! If you found any of these tips helpful or have a really cool WIP playlist you’d want to share let me know in the comments!