Sunday, 1 November 2015

Alice Oseman: "Writing and Studying is not Impossible" + Giveaway


…sort of. I don’t mean you can literally write a story while reading your biology textbook. I don’t think even the most talented of multi-taskers can do that. (If you can, email me. Seriously. I want to know your secrets.)

One of my most frequently asked questions as an author who wrote a book while she was at school and wrote her second while at university is – how do you find the time to write while studying?

It’s a fair question. Both school and university can use up one hundred per cent of your free time. We’re living in the age of ridiculous amounts of homework and coursework, exams so hard that you need to start revising six months in advance, and teachers telling you that your school grades are going to determine your future success and happiness (total bull, by the way).

So when people ask me how I did it, I usually tell them these three things:

1. Organise your time. If you’re going to keep up with your schoolwork and write as well, you do need to sort out when you’re going to get things done. My policy while I was at school was that I did most of my homework and coursework at school (during my free periods and at lunchtimes) so that I had all my time at home for writing. It worked pretty well!

2. Writing a story sometimes has to take priority. Sometimes, you have to say no to homework and yes to writing. Writing a book takes a lot of time, determination, effort, stamina, and perseverance. If you’re constantly giving your schoolwork priority, it will take you a very long time to write a book. School does not have to be the most important thing in your life – your dreams and passions should be important too. So give them some attention. My policy was that if a teacher or tutor wasn’t going to check the homework, I didn’t do it. Maybe this is bad advice. I don’t know. But it worked.

3. Writing should never feel like work. I know I said that writing a book takes a lot of determination and perseverance, but it should mainly be fun. It should be something you really want to do. If you’re not enjoying it, I can honestly say that there’s absolutely no point you doing it. So don’t stress about publication or writing something groundbreaking – just relax and let writing be something you do to chill out. Write your book for you. That in turn will help you to write something you love, which will make a better book. I used to rush home from school with an idea for the next chapter in my head, desperate to write it down. Writing is hard but it’s also relaxing because I genuinely enjoy it.

Hopefully something here will help you balance your academic and literary endeavours! Workloads at school and university can be hellish – trust me, I know. But if you want to write a book, you’ve got to know when to say no to school and yes to doing what you want to do.

You can write a book if you want to. You just need to give yourself the time. And sometimes give homework the slip.

Good luck!

Thank you so much to the lovely Alice Oseman for agreeing to do a guest post on Lost in a Library! This is part of the YA Shot Blog/Vlog Tour. YA Shot took place on Wednesday 28th October in Uxbridge promoting YA and the power of libraries. 

Alice is also kindly giving away one signed copy of Solitaire - her debut novel. The giveaway will be open from Sunday 1st November-Thursday 5th November 2015. After that the winner will be sent their prize via the author. You must be a UK Resident, and have permission to share your address if you win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Comment on this blog post sharing your thoughts! . . . . . . . l am a would-be writer would love to actually be a writer

  2. I'm very good at time management, but being a student at the same time as working is very hard!

  3. I'm writing a book at the minute, so this was really helpful advice!

  4. Some good words of wisdom, hopefully it will provide the encouragement and motivation for others to start writing too.

  5. Sounds an amazing read!

  6. i really love Alice, she's a really nice person and i hope to finally read Solitaire since I've heard such great things!

    1. She's lovely! I really hope you enjoy Solitaire! It's a fantastic read

  7. Thanks for the giveaway - and the article - cheers

  8. Great prize giveaway, love books.

  9. Super article! Doesn't even just apply to writing either, it's important to remember to always fulfil your dreams and ambitions even if they don't work with school!!

  10. I reeeally want to read Solitare! And I'm so so amazed at this author for balancing all the things! :D I wrote a lot while I was in highschool, but I homeschooled, so it's totally different and I was encouraged to write books as part of English anyway. BUT YEAH. I can't even imagine balancing all the workload of college plus writing. *bows to this author's skills*

  11. That's really good topic discussed here.


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