I have a really good idea for a short story, and I'm in the process of writing a novel. But I'm also a Junior in high school, which inevitably means - responsibilities.

I have so much of those that I can't ever get anything written down. I tried to make a schedule, but it was nearly impossible to keep up with.

It's finals month, and that means that there is even less time to write, but I really want to.

Any ideas on how to study and find time to write?

  • 1
    I had the same issues you have now (have 19 years and finished school last year) Trust me, if you get into an university or get a job, it will only get worse. I guess you should organize your habits, dailies, tasks and your time. You can try habitica.com to help you out with that.
    – Hanilucas
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 23:06
  • Do you have a laptop? Do you get lunch? Can you use a laptop at lunch? My last two years of high school I was on my own, no family, and attended every class, did all my homework, and worked as a dishwasher 30 hours every week to pay my rent, buy my own food, do my own laundry and house chores. My only transportation was a bicycle. I did homework during lunch, I watched zero TV, and slept exactly six hours a night, seven days a week. And I still had time to read scifi for six hours on Sundays. It's easy to manage 12 work hours a day, especially at your age, even with eight hours of sleep.
    – Amadeus
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


The cynical adult in me (who has 3 kids, a full time job and studying full time) had quite the chuckle at the Junior High responsibilities and lack of time.

I'll give you the bad news first: It doesn't get better. There's the old adage that you can have money, time or energy, but not all three.

Good news is, however, that you are young enough to get into good habits that will set you up to manage.

As Dale said, prioritization is key. As is looking at what's really important, and identifying what's a want as opposed to a need.

It does take a lot of self discipline, however, and it may mean sacrificing something - either social time, personal time etc.

But as you mention you're studying - use writing as a reward. Organise your study in blocks, don't try to do too much for too long as that can actually have a detrimental effect, both on you and your studies.

There are numerous reports and studies done about effective learning, and a general consensus is to do no more than an hour straight in a single session. So do that. For every hour of study, give yourself a 10-20 minute downtime to write or otherwise create.

And do not overlook the benefit of exercise. I'm not talking about full gym sessions - but get out in the fresh air. Start the day with a run or walk. Take constant breaks and stretch out. Get up and walk around. Keeping active and healthy also helps you mentally as well as physically.

If you keep getting ideas, carry a note-book or other app (i.e. Writer+) or something with you to jot the idea down. Then go back and review later when it's your time to write.

It all boils down to structure and discipline. Structure your day, have the discipline to stick to it and get into routine.


"No time" is never a matter of time. It's always a matter of priority.

If you have no time to write, that means you're giving other things priority over your writing.

If you want to write, you'll have to give it a higher priority. You'll have to let go of something else.

If you aren't prepared to sacrifice your other responsibilities right now, let that be okay. It means your current priorities are just where you want them to be, despite the pain of not being able to do everything you want. For now.

  • my only responsibilities are school related, but I'm not legally allowed to drop out of school until I'm 18 Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 0:39

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