Juggling School and Writing: Part 3

Hello Lovely Readers,

I have been absent from here and my Facebook page recently. Part of that is because I spent nine days recent in Costa Rica for a school trip.

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Writing on the beach in Costa Rica

The other piece is that school is coming to a close so I have papers and projects to do. But I am back down and really excited for this post. Today, I am talking about my support network in regards to tackling college and writing.

I am beyond blessed when it comes to support. My family (both immediate and extended) are always there for me, supporting me in all my endeavors. My gramma wanted to be a writer at one point, so she always gets so excited when I talk about my writing. Both of my grandpas have read a very early manuscript of my first book and kindly provided grammatical corrections. When I attempted to do a KickStarter, they all supported me and told all their friends about it.

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My mom, my gramma, and me on college visits

I would not be where I was without my family’s encouragement and support. My parents and siblings are also super supportive. My oldest brother regularly tells me how cool the things I am doing, whether writing or my major. Personally, I think he’s cooler. I mean he is living in Hawaii, but we’ve agreed to disagree on that topic.

 

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Me and one of my biggest cheerleaders

It is late night (or early morning) conversations with my brother that reminds me that everything I am doing is because I love doing it.

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Me and my other brother

My little brother is a source of constant support and humor. In reality, he is the person who most inspired Anthony. It was my brother’s huge heart and desire to help everyone that shaped Anthony.

I also wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of my two best friends. These people listened to my crazy ideas when I was first starting to write seriously, and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Several times, I subjected them to the horror of reading some of my early writing. (Let’s just say that those things will never be removed from the shelf.)

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Both my model for Odessa and my first reader/content editor

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All of these people are instrumental in supporting me in my writing journey, but you all are probably asked, what does this have to do with time management. So these people are all the people who are outside the writing roles. Their support roles range from encouragement to brainstorming to reminding me to also focus on schoolwork (Thanks, mom!). But they don’t help me juggle my writing and my school work.

Enter a lovely group of teen/young adult writers! Probably about five years ago, I discovered a group of young writers on Facebook called Go Teen Writers! At first I wasn’t so sure. They all seemed to be a lot more into writing then I was and at times I had a hard time keeping up with their jargon and these things called word wars that they did. Little did I know that when I started college that these word wars would become my lifeline to my writing world.

I discussed briefly in my first post of this series how I used writing to help destress me, but there were times during school were I wasn’t super stressed so I wasn’t writing as much. My Go Teen Writers facebook page hosted word wars. It was a good encouragement for when I wasn’t do anything for school to sit down and write for a solid twenty or thirty minutes. It was with the support of these fellow writers that I was able to grow as a writer and finish not one but three books in less than four years. While these books aren’t published yet, they would not have existed without the encouragement from these group of writers.

The most important lesson about writing that I’ve learned in my three years so far as a college student is that a support system of like minded people is key. While we all are doing different things it life, it is still beyond helpful to know that I can hop onto facebook and there will be someone else who is willing to help me or support me in my writing.

I hope you all have enjoyed this short series of juggling writing and school. Leave any questions you have below.

Until next time,

Bethany

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Juggling Writing and School: Part 2

IMG_1323Hello lovely readers,

I want to apologize for being rather late on this post. The irony is that I’m writing several posts on juggling writing and school, and these last two weeks school took over my life. Thanks for you patience. Anyways, I seem to be over the hump and am flying towards the end of my semester. So today, we have two of my fellow writing friends with us. In my first post I talked about ways I juggled writing and school. I wanted to make sure that you guys got to hear from other people to who may have other strategies. Anyways, my lovely friends, Jessica and Lauren, kindly answered some questions I had about them juggling writing and school.

Q: What is your favorite way to squeeze in writing while attending college?

Jessica: My favorite way to squeeze in writing in college is to make sure it’s the first thing I do every day. That means that if I have to work at 7am, my alarm goes off at 5am, and I write for an hour. This suits me because I tend to lose focus and drive as the day goes on. If I get writing “out of the way” first thing, then no matter how nuts the rest of the day gets, I still got some writing done.

Lauren: When I have lighter semesters I’ll schedule a specific time to write, every day. When I have heavier semesters I will write whenever I get a moment. Before class starts, during meals, car rides, during boring lectures (shhh don’t tell anyone I said that), etc.

Q: What is a piece of advice you would give freshman you about writing while going to school?

J: I would advise a freshman writer to set aside a specific chunk of time every day to write. The earlier, the better. My freshman year, I remember that it was unpredictable how any given day might go. I really failed at keeping up with writing freshman year. I would always think, “I’ll get to it later tonight!” Then later would arrive and I’d find myself in the dormitory lobby eating pizza with my friends at two in the morning. Later never really comes! Writing has got to be now!

L: This piece of advice applies to all parts of college, not just the writing part. And that is get a planner. In it write down all of your assignments and events as well as a to do list then schedule a specific time to write. This decreases stress because you know exactly what you have to get done. It makes college a lot more manageable and finding a time to write a lot less stressful. Also, college is all about balance and sometimes you have to compromise but don’t stop writing. Some days you can write for an hour but other days you may only have a couple of minutes in between classes and that’s ok. Lastly, be careful not to burn yourself out. I’m a history major so I write a lot (and I mean a lot) of papers. Sometimes I have to take a break from my personal writing so that I don’t get burned out on writing in general. Your brain needs a break otherwise it will be a lot harder to write and the quality of your writing might decrease.

Q: What surprised you about juggling college and writing?

J: What surprised me most when college first started was how easily distracted I became. I was in love with a sparkly new lifestyle, and I could rarely bring myself to turn down social excursions in order to write. When I finally did sit down to face my projects, I was too drained to buck myself up and make any progress. Until I started making writing the first priority of my day, it was very hard for me to find time to write, not because of outside circumstances, but because of myself.

L: Writing is really easy for me to push on the back burner. I have to be very intentional about it. It’s because I do so much reading and writing for school I really do have to push myself. It’s a heck of a lot easier to watch Netflix when I have some spare time.

Q: What is the most time consuming part of writing (brainstorming, first draft, edits, etc)?

J: For me, the most time consuming part of writing is revising. I can crank out a first draft of a novel in a month or two, but I have been known to spend years ripping a story apart, writing and rewriting and adding and deleting and rearranging the whole thing. My first few drafts of revisions usually I make the story rougher than the rough draft. It takes a lot of experimentation for me to figure what actually works and feels right.

L: For me, the planning is the most time-consuming part, specifically world building. It takes me forever because I go pretty detailed and it takes me a while to think through those things.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day my lovely readers!

I am so thankful to be home for the week enjoying time with my family and a short break from school. I hope you are all having a fantastic day.

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For those of you who are as geeky as I am, here is some Thanksgiving Star Wars humor.

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In other news, today is the one year anniversary of when I finished the first draft of the last book in The Hanover Chronicles trilogy. So much has changed since that day when I typed “The End” on the train to Washington D.C.

Since it is the holidays, I won’t be as active on either the blog or my Facebook page. However, keep an eye out for a short Christmas story featuring our favorite Emperor and Empress.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

Bethany

Construction on the Blog

Hello to my lovely readers,

So not sure how many of you have visited the blog this weekend, but I wanted to explain some things. If you have noticed the blog this weekend, you may or may not have noticed a new tab along the top of the blog.

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If you hovered over this you may have gotten a bit of a confusing drop down menu.

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This new content is actually for the writing class that I am currently taking at my university. I’m not sure how long I will have it up, but its up there right now so that my professor can take a look at it and grade it.

You guys are more than welcome to take a look at it if you want. It is a different style of writing than the normal stuff on my blog.

Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Also Part 3 of High Stakes has been posted so check that out.

I look forward to hearing from you guys.

Bethany

Quick Update

Hey guys,

Sorry for my unexplained absence here on the blog. I’ve had a crazy few weeks so my series of Storyworld Building is on hold for a little bit. I promise I will finish it soon.

So it’s officially summertime for me which means I have a bit of  extra time for writing. Because of that, I have decided to completely rewrite The Fallen Empress. So far I’m happy with the changes I have done so far.

Unfortunately, my Kickstarter was not completely funded quickly enough so my plans for self-publishing are on hold as well. At this point, I’m planning on looking into traditional publishing with ideally a smaller, Christian publishing house. I will definitely keep you updated on that progress.

Thank you for bearing with me and my crazy schedule. I’m so grateful for all the people who regularly read this. Without you, I wouldn’t have people to write for.

Bethany

New Series: Story Building

Hey guys,

I’m super excited to announce that over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing a series of blog posts talking about my creative process for creating a story.

Each post, I’ll be talking about something different. During this time, I will also be brainstorming for a new WIP (work-in-progress).

This new WIP will follow two siblings as they become entangled in interplanetary politics between the humans and the Others. Keep an eye out for more details.

 

Bethany