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Even busy college students can find time to write

on Fri, 01/22/2016 - 01:16

By Jordan Gambale

Are you a college student with a busy schedule who has trouble finding the time to write? As somebody who had been writing in any spare moment I had, I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to discover that college didn’t get me much time. With twenty-four hours in a day, it feels almost impossible to write anything that isn’t an essay for class. Here are some ways to find time to write with a busy schedule:

1.      Write anything you can, when you can, even if it’s just what you had for lunch today.
I find myself jotting down little things that happen throughout the day in the notes section of my phone. Most of the time, they’re quotes from friends that I find amusing (like when my roommate sleep-talks), or they’re to-do lists that I need throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll quickly type out a description of the sky and snap a picture of it so I can reference what it looked like for later. You may find a little nugget of inspiration in one of these notes!

2.      Set aside at least ten minutes of distraction-free writing time each day.
Look, I get it. It is extremely difficult to do something that you’re not required to do each day and make it a habit. Especially with technology these days, we’ll almost immediately find ourselves scrolling through social media or texting friends the moment we cannot think of something to write down. An easy solution would be to convince friends to do this with you…peer-pressure at its finest! Just shut off the phone for ten minutes and write whatever is on your mind!

3.      Join your school’s writing club.
If your school doesn’t have a writing club, you could always start your own, or you could write for your school’s newspaper. Either is an excellent option to find time to write. This way, you have the support (and maybe some positive pressure) of friends and colleagues to write your best article, novel, poem…you name it! Whatever you write can always be revisited later on and further developed or used for inspiration for another piece.

4.      Take writing courses.
Especially if you are an English, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, or similar major, these are especially important. Sure, these courses are highly structured, which may dissuade you from wanting to take certain courses, but it’s really all about practice. Practicing different types of writing will help to improve your skills as well! You never know, you might discover your next favorite writing style!

5.      Search for freelance writing opportunities (great summer and winter vacation options!).
Get paid to write! Sometimes you may need a certain degree or credentials to be a freelance writer, but other times you do not. You should, however, have a writing sample on hand to send to companies that you are interested in writing for. It’s best to search the internet for these opportunities. Here are a few places you can start:

  1. See if there are any work-study jobs on campus that are centered on writing.
    Here at the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, I’ve discovered that I can write more by publishing articles on the website, interviewing authors, setting up writing clubs, and more. I’m able to expand on my writing skills by doing what I love as well as trying new types of writing. The options are endless, and the rewards are infinite. The cliché is truly needed for working here: choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.