(HAHA. THERE ARE SOME GREAT BALANCING GIFS OUT THERE. JUST SAYIN’.)
Guess what? It’s not impossible!
Well, yes, it’s going to be hard, frustrating, and on more than one occasion, you’re going to feel like throwing your textbooks across the room, but that’s okay, because they’re just textbooks. So, to all the other people out there who are struggling to balance their life, school, and their writing (including blogs) I thought I would compose a list of things that have helped me through my HSC (Higher School Certificate) year.
1. Lists. DUH.
So, this year, because of my exams, I have tried to become a much more organized person. And you know what?! It’s working! I’m lazy, so I don’t handwrite my lists. I use Wunderlist. And it’s absolutely wunderful. (HAHA.) And also, I really like the Ping! sound that happens when you tick of something on your To Do list. Here are some guidelines for making to dos (What?! Lists within lists!?):
— Don’t be an overachiever. Sure, if you tick off all your list and then some, that’s great! But try not to be unrealistic with what you’re going to put on your lists. That’s not going to help anyone.
— Try very hard to finish everything on your list, but don’t freak out if you don’t. Here’s something I’ve learned: You’re going to have bad days. Awful days. You’ll look at your school work and wonder why you chose these ridiculously ridiculous subjects; then, you’ll open up your writing and realize that it’s complete and utter crap. (Things will look better in the morning. Promise!)
2. Give. Yourself. Breaks.
For reals. Don’t try to be me and write study notes for A WHOLE SUBJECT in one afternoon. It ain’t gonna happen. Or, like me, try to write a weeks’ worth of blog posts in an hour. HAAAH. It can take me a loooong time to draft posts, so I need to take breaks. Think, relax, eat some chocolate. Get some sunshine! (Sun? What’s that?) Go for walks! Go to the library!
Um. Does this one even really need explaining? I THINK NOT.
4. Talk to people!
…Just not too much. Don’t spend hours on Facebook or on the phone or Twitter. But sometimes I find it helpful to talk to other people who are, for example, going through the HSC, or are having writing troubles, or whatever — because a) you know you’re not alone, and b) it’s a nice break from actually trying to balance school and writing and life.
5. DON’T PANIC. IT GETS YOU NOWHERE.
Unless you’re Spongebob. Then you can panic.
Also, isn’t he underwater? HOW CAN IT BE ON FIRE? Kara is confused.
6. Do ALL THE SCHEDULING.
This year, I’ve had some blog posts scheduled weeks in advance, and boy, it was really helpful. Especially around times where assignments were due, or I had to take exams. The last thing you want to do is complete a three-hour exam, and realize that you haven’t scheduled a post for the next day, knowing that you’ll have to take another test tomorrow.
7. Also? Don’t freak out if you miss a day’s blog post.
Pfft. What does it matter?! Readers will understand. Life is busy and hectic and stressful.
8. The amazing book blogosphere… what about that!?
Sometimes, along with everything else, to read and comment and enjoy other people’s blogs. THIS IS SOMETHING I LOVE LOVE LOVE DOING. And so, I reserve it for late afternoon/night times, where I’ve ticked off most things on my List of Awesomeness, and can finally settle down to read all the amazing things you guys have posted. So in a way, for me, it’s a bit like a reward for getting through the day still mentally sane. But again, if things get hectic, and you’re too tired and you just don’t have the time… that’s okay. Completely okay.
9. But Kara, how am I supposed to balance writing novels on top of all this!?
Well. Now this is the tricky bit. Most likely your attention will be fully focused on school. Which, if you ask any teacher, is a good thing. Me? I’m not so sure about that. School, while important, does not, apparently, define your future (or so people keep telling me…), and with this in mind I think it’s OK to relax once in awhile and write. I wouldn’t recommend “forcing” yourself to write, though. For me, writing is a stress reliever, so if I worry about trying to write something… then it renders the whole idea of writing useless. Although I’m in my final year at school, I’ve still managed to write heaps.
10. What about reading?
Another stress reliever! Here’s the funny thing, actually. Last year (Year 11) I read 122 books. Thinking about it logically, Year 12 has been much more stressful… so shouldn’t I have had time to read less? THINK again. It’s October 24th, and I’ve already read 138 books. And the year’s not even done yet. Here’s why: I need something on an evening to calm me down, to take me away from the stress of school, so I believe I’ve been reading more to compensate this.