Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

I Tried Balancing School and One of my Most Favorite Hobbies

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

My Favorite Hobby
My favorite hobby is creative writing. If I count middle school, I’ve been writing since around 7th grade. That would be around 6 years and 2 months since I started writing in August 2017 and it’s October 2023. The first “book” I wrote is entitled “The Bus Ride Kidnap”. The whole WIP (short for work in progress) has nothing to do with the title. It was supposed to be based on my bus driver taking the whole bus with all the students on it to the district office where all the buses, or a majority of them, are kept. I saw one of my friends writing something like a diary entry and it gave me the idea to start writing a book based on what had just happened at the time. I kept writing it until probably my sophomore year of high school and went back to the Google doc every once in a while since then to read what I had written in middle school (it has a lot of cringe moments in it. It’s that bad).
I am now working on a historical fantasy/historical fiction series entitled “The Hidden Chronicles”. It contains four books, each of them having at least two to four POVs (point of view). What I mean by this is each of them has at least two to four main characters depending on what I write in the outline. Other than the outline for each book in the series, I also have character profiles, floor plans for each house, and the covers for the first two books since the second two books are still in the outlining process.
Even though the titles have nothing to do with the genre(s) historical fantasy and/or historical fiction, the books have the fantasy and fiction element along with the historical element in them. Each book tends to be close to 40-45 or so chapters. They also contain around 100,000 plus words and around 500 pages by the end of the first draft (“We Still Exist” falls under this since “Seasons of Mystery” is still in the writing process). I tend to make sure I have the content in each chapter in them and sometimes add to the shorter chapters so they’ll be longer and so there will be more words and pages.

How I Balance School and Creative Writing
I balance school and creative writing by putting school first and then working on my WIPs if I don’t have any schoolwork to do. If you get into any form of writing, not just creative writing, I would recommend putting your education first and working on your writing during breaks or even when you’re done with your school work or homework. Also, one thing that helps me balance school and creative writing is to either film what I’m doing, watch YouTube of what I’m doing at the moment, or even both. I sometimes choose to film, find something on YouTube, or I do both. What I film on my phone I airdrop to my laptop make a YouTube video and edit it all in iMovie before downloading it to my laptop and uploading it to YouTube.
There are a lot of authors or writers out there that do different things to help them during the day, even if they film, such as making a to-do list, using a yearly planner, using a bullet journal, or a digital planner to plan things and to see what they have finished and what else there is left to do. Sometimes, I use one or two of these, sometimes three, to help me get through the day, to see what’s due, or to plan when to write even though I know when I want to write. Everybody is different when it comes to balancing something like school and something like writing.

What I do with writing if schoolwork/homework is overwhelming for my brain
What I normally do if I’m getting overwhelmed with anything school-related is either write on my current WIP or go over my first book to make sure there isn’t anything I want to change before I decide to start writing draft two (I still haven’t done that yet since I’m still finding things to change or fix to book 1 draft 1). I go through any lists I have and I look at my outline if I have it. I don’t have the character profiles nearby because I only use them to help me know the characters more.

When I write, I don’t just do it for fun. I do it because I get to use my imagination after I get done with homework or I’m taking a break from homework. It helps my brain calm down and unwind from school. It helps me because I get to do something I actually enjoy and right up my alley. Reading is the same way. I either read what I wrote or read a book on my bookshelf. I sometimes work on revising any book I’ve finished so I can be closer to done with revisions or I start revising a little bit.

Gracey Duprel

Winthrop '27

Freshman Winthrop '27 Historian Social Studies Education Major Historical Fiction/Historical Fantasy Writer