For those of us in the United States, we are now about a month into the school year. High school is a transformative and enjoyable period, but it includes a lot of responsibilities. We all have classes and extracurriculars, as well as the prospect of college applications. Some of us are balancing part-time jobs on top of that. Meanwhile, we’re making and building friendships, upholding family responsibilities, and other relationships. Writers have an additional commitment to themselves: to focus and keep working on their writing and works. Writing as a high schooler is hard, and today’s post focuses on how to make the most of it.
Your first priority is always your health (mental and physical) and your second is your education. Writing may come next or may follow other extracurriculars or relationships that are more important to you. Decide what your priorities are early on, so you don’t have to worry about making hard decisions later on.
Abide by those priorities. Don’t let your grades slip to work on your WIP, and always make sure you’re getting enough sleep and rest.
Tell people. Yes, it can be difficult to gather the courage to tell your parents, friends, or teachers that you are a writer. It’s frightening, and you don’t know how they are going to respond. Find the people who you trust to support and encourage you, and confide in them.
And if you’re not comfortable talking to the people around you, interact with the large writing community. Friends who are also writers can keep you accountable and help you reach your writing goals.
The point is, writing can sometimes be a lonely hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. Communicating with others about your passion can make writing more fun and help you become a better author.
United States public schools have a two month break over the summer, one week breaks in the spring and winter, and long weekends scattered throughout the year.
Yes, you should relax during breaks, but if you have ten weeks off over the summer, try to make them somewhat productive. Set a routine for yourself saying that you’re going to work on your WIP for one hour every day or you’re going to write 500 words a day or anything along those lines. Also set aside time for other extracurriculars, your summer work, and any work or camps you have. If you have to break this routine once in a while, feel free to, but sticking to your routine can make your breaks productive. I’m not saying this compensates for writing nothing over the school year, but long breaks can help you catch up to your writing goals.
Most adults don’t get these breaks, so take advantage of them.
If you want to share your writing with others, whether to get some feedback or gain traffic on a recent publication, here’s some good news. Even if you have a smaller platform than the average adult, odds are, most of your friends are a possible reader. If you write for the young adult or middle grade age range, you’re likely surrounded by people who read that same genre.
Also, technology is an amazing marketing tool that you are surrounded with. Odds are, you are more familiar with social media than most adults, having grown up with it. Even if you don’t have an Instagram or Twitter account, it won’t take you long to set one up and accustom yourself to the platform’s features. Growing an account will take more time, of course, but you have the tools to do so!
But the most important thing to remember is: cherish your high school experience! These four years are a time to learn more about yourself and discover your place in the world. Don’t let writing or anything else get in the way of you participating in everything else you love. Explore other extracurriculars and spend time with friends, and keep writing in the meantime!