Whether you’ve already started school or haven’t, I hope your school year is absolutely amazing.

I start tomorrow. I’m taking a break from all my homework to write this post.

You may be thinking (and you’re not the only one), Nina, why would you leave all your schoolwork until the last minute? I finished mine in June! I got two assignments only last month, and the third I got in June but only finished last week because it was so time consuming, and then I worked all summer, and I also kind of hate homework so everything else always took priority.

But you know what? I’m actually glad  I had this much summer work because it taught me some things about writing. Hear me out, and maybe you won’t regret wasting all that time reading To Kill A Mockingbird instead of working on your future classic.

1. Maybe pick up a pencil every once in awhile.

With the exception of essays, most of my work had to be done by hand. I actually loved it. For chemistry, making my diagrams look pretty was fun. For US History, my timelines turned out better when made by my hand than by any computer.

I’m not saying you should write your novel by hand (unless you’re into it; then go for it!).  But I’ve decided to do all my plot lines by hand, and I now have a journal in which I jot down quotes or plot ideas.

Writing things down by hand not only helps you remember them better, but you have so much leeway with things like plot lines, since it’s all up to you.

2. Deadlines are terrible but a good thing to learn to work around.

We’ve all written stuff for school with deadlines, but summer work gives you deadlines of about three months, paving the way for procrastination. When you have seven essays due in September and it’s July, you feel like you have eons before you have to turn that in.

But July flies by and then you reach August and you decide that you should start on them, but you only half care until September first. That, my friend, is when you panic.

Once again, here me out: set some of your own deadlines for your own writing.

I’ve set myself a deadline for when I want to finish final edits for my most recent book, and I’ve set another one for when I want the first draft of my work-in-progress complete. With proper time-management (and lots of self-motivation), you can easily make your writing process more efficient.

3. Read things out of your preferred genres/time periods.

I would have never read Much Ado About Nothing or Frankenstein on my own accord. But because of required reading, I discovered two awesome books that helped me with writing things. Much Ado About Nothing’s snappy dialogue is incredible, and Frankenstein’s prose is magnetic. You can really find inspiration in places you don’t expect to find it.

4. English work helps you with . . . well, English.

Character arcs? Vocabulary? Foils/parallels? Enough said.


Maybe this makes you feel better about how you feel about all that summer work you did. I hope everyone has a great school year!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Author Relates, Writing Advice

Nina Martineck

Hi, everyone! I'm Nina, a seventeen-year-old writer in Western New York. I've finished my first novel, The Knowers, which is now available. :D

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