A lot of writers, artists, and musicians struggle balancing school and creativity. Personally, I’ve had stock market projects, club obligations, roommate drama, and even boy drama. I have scholarships depending on my grades and the angst of whether or not to change my major. In spite of that, I have remained fairly creative.
I reviewed the final edits for The Chalice of Malvron and as soon as I brush up the damnable blurb, it will be entered the big wide world. I even went through The Temple of Tarkoth and I’ve started on my Nano Wrimo project, but it hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to take conscious steps to make it happen and learned every lesson the hard way.
Procrastination is how you get three tests and three papers the same week mixed with a shot of meltdowns and a pound of anxiety. Plan ahead so that you can do a little work on school assignments at a time. Remember, it’s better to have a hundred snowballs than one avalanche.
Take care of yourself
Sleep. Seriously, sleep. Also go for walks and be sure you get to move around. This keeps your brain working its best and makes you feel more energized and better about yourself. Both are great for creativity.
I find unplugging and taking a hiatus from everything lets my brain reset and works wonderfully. Personally, my best breaks from writing involve reading. I’ve actually broken free of a months-long reading slump this semester and it helps get me in the mood for storytelling. Working on bite-size projects, such as short stories or poems, is also hugely helpful for writer’s block and unlocking creativity.
(Some people tell me they’re always too tired for reading, so they watch TV. Contrary to popular belief, Netflix does NOT count as sleep. If you’re that tired, you should go to bed.)
Remember to pat yourself on the back when you do well. Chocolate is a great motivator for reaching creative goals. I have a Half Price Books 15 minutes from my campus and I’ve used that to inspire me quite a bit. I’ve even been known to ban myself from dessert until I reached a certain word count.
It’s okay to say “no.” There will always be sporting events, social events, and well-meaning friends who want to drag you along. While these are part of the college experience, remember that you have to be balanced. There is always a happy medium or a compromise that can be made, such as giving yourself a curfew or only going to events you’ll actually enjoy (sounds obvious, but I’ve found it isn’t always).
You can keep writing, drawing, and creating in college, I have faith in you. If you can dream it, you can do it, and no one dreams like artists.
Do you have any tricks or tips for other student artists you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!