Often, young creatives find themselves pressed for time when the school year begins, signaling a return to late-night study sessions and various after-school commitments. Naturally, art and writing take a back seat, and after a particularly busy week or month of not writing, we often find ourselves returning to a place of potential creative block, of not knowing where we are in the process and how we should get back to writing consistently.
The question arises: how we should retain this creativity through the slog of other things on our plate? Fortunately, there are many approaches. For one, consuming various other pieces of media can help people create new connections. Literature often involves research into other facets of life: culture, history, business, migration, etc— these fields are all connected, so don’t feel limited to only reading poetry chapbooks or fiction collections. Exploring other topics through music, movies, and media can lead to new avenues of inspiration. And while reading for inspiration is great, reading for craft is better: make it a goal to examine what stood out so much to you in a particular piece, and how that effect was achieved. It is also important to write down any interesting words, phrases, and other ideas, no matter how silly or outlandish they seem. I can’t tell you how much groundwork for writing has gone down the drain because I didn’t bother to scribble down my shower thoughts.
Incorporating writing into a daily routine can be difficult. When we say “I will write every day from 7:00 to 7:30,” things often don’t work out. Maybe you had a late dinner, or it’s the day before your physics test and studying is more important, or you are understandably drained from a long day at school. Therefore, joining or establishing clubs (ie. a school literary magazine, journalism club, art club, etc) can help carve a consistent block of time in your schedule, since most school clubs meet regularly. You can also find online communities, from youth-run literary magazines, book clubs and discord servers. If you have the option to take a class or elective on writing or another passion (ie. filmmaking, music), this could be an additional opportunity to connect it to your craft. A lot of the time, it isn’t always the act of putting words on paper that is most important, but finding inspiration and connection within our lives.
Above all, creatives shouldn’t be pressured to simply produce work to submit to magazines and competitions. On our lips, we say that we write or create because we love it, we love storytelling, we love connecting with and uplifting others. Your reason for writing and creating should always remain sincere, regardless of rejections or time spent away from writing.