Friday, March 14, 2014

A Full Time Student With a Novel to Sell

So, I am getting closer and closer to my graduation date. May 10th, to be precise. As my current semester's studies get more and more in depth I find less and less time to write, but I do it knowing that I chose writing as a career and I feel compelled to give my readers more.

So let me give you a look into my life at this moment. Currently, I have 12 hours of classes. Now that's not a lot compared to the 15-18 hours I am used to, but this semester is important because I'm taking my capstone course: Writing Portfolio. This class will determine my graduation; it is my exit exam. I have to take everything I have written during my course of a Professional Writing Major and format it into a very creative book. In some ways I feel relieved. I do this already! In other ways, it's intimidating as it will not have a grade but PASS or FAIL. Now, top that off with my other 3 classes. 

Then, I also work 20+ hours at Panera Bread. I work all mornings. For me, it's early to rise as early as 4am on the days I work. After I get off work, I head to my classes. You would think that would be great because then my afternoons are free, but alas, you would be wrong. See I also have an internship. I just started it two weeks ago. I LOVE it. It's creative, fun, and challenges me to learn new software; however, I put in ten hours each week and guess what, they are in the evenings. So by the time I finish, I still have to do homework. 

So let's talk about homework. Did you know that there is a rule in college? For every hour you spend in class, you will spend twice as much doing homework. Well, that is true. Even if I don't want to, the amount of time it takes for me to finish the projects due in each class equals to that amount. So if I have 12 credit hours, then arguably I am spending 24 hours a week just doing homework.

Now, lets add all of this up. 12 hours for school + 20 hours for Panera + 10 hours for my internship +  24 hours for homework. That equals to 66 hours a week and there is 168 hours in a week. But wait, I still have to include sleep and I try to get 8 hours in, but lately it's been all I can do to get 6. Alright, now also lets go ahead and add food and hygiene lets say about 5 hours each day. That is another 77 hours each week. That has me at 143 hours. Giving me a total of 25 hours a week to spend or 3 hours each day doing what I want.

Did I mention that I am married and still basically am a newly wed? I want to spend most of those 3 hours each day to spend with my husband. Giving me exactly 1 hour to focus on writing. 

When do I get a down time? I basically don't and I'm waiting for that to catch up with my body. In fact, I already pushed back my first editing appointment since I didn't have my last manuscript finished and with my next deadline sitting right around the corner, I'm wondering how I am going to pull it off. It's really tough to be a writer and it takes time to do it and to do it properly. 

My point of all of this is that writing is something I love. I'll always continue to do it, despite my tight schedule. But, I would like readers to remember why I "sell" my books. I don't have all the time in the world to just sit and write. Readers want books out promptly and in order for me to do that, I have to take a lot more time out of my schedule to do so. Not to mention what it costs me out of pocket to publish: editing, cover art, ect.

I look forward to graduation, not because I can take a deep breath and finally relax, not because I can say I finally earned that degree, but because it opens up 36 hours of writing time--ideally. We all know that once I graduate something else will help fill that time, but for right now I will breathe in the excitement of more potential writing time.

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