Instead, I want to encourage you to write even if your schedule is busy. Even in the most stressful times, when you are cramming for finals or struggling to get everything finished on time, or perhaps just trying to keep up with all the plans and schedules that have been made for you, it is not good or healthy to focus solely on your responsibilities. Over time, your productivity will decrease, you will grow even more stressed, and it may be difficult to find the motivation to keep going.
Instead, take a few minutes to do something you love. Even better, take a few minutes to write. Just a half an hour or so can be relaxing, help give your mind a rest from rigorous tasks, and maybe help you see things in a new light. Sometimes, creativity is exactly what we need when we are faced with a difficult problem.
So, here is the challenge:
Take 30 minutes to write.
It can be today, over the weekend, or preferably as a bit of a breather between periods of high stress and rigorous work. I find lunch breaks work well.
Write something just for fun.
Not all writing is created equal. Sometimes, planning, plotting, and editing can be just as rigorous and logical as the work you are taking a break from. Instead, write something purely for enjoyment. Whether it has to do with your main story or not, it can improve your writing overall. Be honest: when was the last time you were so caught up in the magic of a story that you couldn't stand to leave? For me, I mainly find that feeling in the process of putting words on paper and seeing something unfold in front of my eyes. Planning, plotting, and editing are necessary for polishing, but they aren't nearly as good at stress relief, relaxation, and creativity as the writing itself, at least for me.
What if your main project isn't at a point where you can just write something new? Then write something else! Perhaps take your characters and set them up in unlikely scenarios - you will be surprised what you can learn about them. Maybe a new person encounters your setting. What about writing a fluff scene between some of your favorite characters, just for fun? If you are willing to step away from your main project entirely, you are free to scribble down whatever you want. Perhaps writing something new will open your mind about what you are currently writing.
Don't abandon writing because your schedule gets busy.
Yes, writing can take time away from other things you should be doing. But if writing is really your passion, then it is a good idea to preserve it, even for just a few minutes every couple of days. Whenever NaNoWriMo rolls around for me, I get so excited about my story. I get caught up in the flow of the action, the characters, and the setting all appearing on the page right in front of me as my fingers struggle to keep up with my mind. And then... Christmas, and school is starting again, and there is always something more urgent than writing. At least for me, the most revealing fact is that all through November, I'm also studying for midterms, which come in the first week of December. Somehow, I manage to find time to write 50,000 words in one of my busiest months.
A big part of that is motivation, and to be honest, I do little besides NaNoWriMo and schoolwork in November, but the point stands - during that one month, I prioritize writing and manage to make it work with my very busy schedule. Yet, through the rest of the year, whenever things get busy, writing is one of the first things to disappear. If I am going to call myself a writer, this should not be the case. Even just a few minutes of writing for fun during lunch or before bed can be enough to keep the excitement going, maintain a habit of writing no matter what, and give me an excuse to unwind while doing something I love.
Do you have trouble writing when life gets busy? What do you do to preserve time for your most favorite activities when the rest of your schedule seems to be conspiring against your free time?
Thanks for reading! As always, questions, comments, opinions, and ideas are always welcome in the comments. If there is any particular topic that would help you in your worldbuilding, please go ahead and mention it down below. I always want to write posts that are useful and interesting, so request away!