Monday, January 12, 2015

Plans, Excuses, and Reevaluations

I've been ghosting around the internets for about a week now - reading tweets and blogs, only occasionally commenting, never really sitting down to write a post of my own. I'm not sure why.

Actually, I have a couple guesses as to why:

For one thing, school started today. That's just a bit overwhelming. Just a bit.

Also, my sister was in a play of Comedy of Errors this weekend, and I went to most of her shows to help out.

I also was trying to write some more, because I really had an over all unproductive Winter Break. So I did start work on some of those plot bunnies.

Most importantly, though, I've been thinking - about my schedule, about my priorities, about how I parcel out my time. This past semester and break have been a sort of experiment - my first experience with an entirely traditional school system (a state university)- and I've determined some things about the way I work and how I'm going to have to change.

One of the big questions homeschoolers' get is, "Wait. You do school in the SUMMER?"
Well, yes. Homeschoolers believe that learning is an everlasting process, and so we 'do school' in the summer.

Also, "You're so lucky! You don't have to go to school every day. You can sleep in!"
Well, yes to that too (sometimes).

See, homeschoolers work and play in a homogenous continuum, throughout the calendar year - perhaps fluctuating a bit towards work at one point, and a bit towards play at another, but overall, keeping quite a constant balance.

How weird it is (for me) to now have a college schedule that demands total work for four months with the reward of total play for one month after. At first, this sounds beautiful - if I work super hard, I'll be able to relax for FOUR WHOLE WEEKS. I'll be able to do all those things I want - like write, read, blog... Oh, it's glorious.

But after these last five months, I've learned something - my brain has been trained in a homeschooler's way. I play better (read more, write more, blog more) when I'm busy. When the play stops being a reward and just daily life, it starts becoming the work, and lounging around on the couch becomes play.

Do you see where I'm going? Blogging and writing become work. READING BECOMES WORK. That's not cool.

My brain does not function well on utter free time. It actually works better when I have no free time, so then I feel the need to make some.

This summer, I'm taking two classes, so my life will be back to a homeschooling continuum. But Winter Break 2015, I'm going to try to be more productive in the things I love. I'm going to give my brain some (minor) work, so that reading and blogging and noveling can remain rewards and fun.

And this coming semester, I'm going to take what little freetime I have, and do exactly what I want with it. I'm not going to think, "Oh, I really should blog," when I just want to read, or "I've got to finish XYZ reading challenge," when I just want to write.

So. Some decisions:

  • No reading challenges. They are such fun when I'm into whatever I'm reading. But I don't want to feel obligated to read a certain book. It makes me like that book less. That's the kind of reader I am - quite impulsive. I read what I want.
  • This also means, no more Bible Project. Yes, yes, the Bible is a special kind of book, but that also means it deserves more attention then my skimming readings. I KNOW I just got to the good part (The New Testament), but oh well. I'm in a Bible Study at school, so that's going to have to suffice. (However, the Bible Project is not gone forever. It's only on hiatus for a bit. Perhaps it'll resurrect in the summer.)
  • Sometimes, blogging won't happen because I want to novel more. Usually, when I have free time for writing, I blog instead of noveling. Usually = 99% of the time. So, I'm afraid I may disappear every so often, like I did this past week. BUT KNOW - I am producing a future masterpiece, so worry not! 
That's my new plan. We shall see if it makes things better in my head.

Wow. Glad I got that out. :-P

Now then:
Homeschoolers - do you do school the same way I do (or did, before college) - all homogenous-like? What's the most annoying question you've gotten? (Other than "Do you stay in your pajamas all day?" We all know that one's asked way too much...)

Students - when do you start school? I send you virtual cake and good vibes to get you through this semester/term/quarter/etc.

Everyone - what kind of reader are you? Can you manage a reading challenge? Or do you just read whatever you happen to see on your shelf next?


  1. I'm still in high school, so I don't have any experience with college. I do have mid terms coming up, which is just...wonderful. However, in the beginning of the month, I wrote all my month's blog posts in one huge burst, so I don't have to worry about that while I study and try to edit a novel for the first time. Also, the only reading challenge I'm doing is the Goodreads reading challenge and my own Bible study (which isn't quite a reading challenge). I've been getting an urge to do some more novel writing, as well, and all that blog scheduling definitely helps.

    1. GOOD LUCK WITH MIDTERMS! (Or are they over by now? I'm a bit late answering comments. Whoops.)

      That is a spectacularly smart think to do - writing posts in advance. I did that last semester, but not this one, because I was lazy. Oh well.

  2. Good for you, Sophia! My daughter says she feels at loose ends when she had complete free time, so I think that you're onto something with regard to homeschoolers. She was so happy to get back work last week! I personally think she does need some downtime. For example, I think of it as filling a cup and the cup will overflow if you keep pouring, but if you give it time to settle, you can start pouring again and things go in easier.

    With traditional school, I think you are learning a few things intensely, whereas with homeschooling you can change it up ....... you're still learning, but it's more natural and the brain is much more receptive to that type of learning.

    In any case, all the best for figuring out what works best for you. And have a great semester!

    1. Thank you! And same to your daughter! I consider myself to be a bit more on the lazy side when it comes to working, but my sister seems a lot like your daughter - she scares me a bit with the amount she studies. I will have to tell her your cup analogy! :-)

  3. Summer break has always been a mystery to me!
    By some miracle one year I did have it, but when it was time to start school again I felt like I barely knew how to hold a pencil. Blogging does eat up a lot of the time I could spend writing so I'm going to try to balance the two more this year. Scheduling posts would probably help!
    I hope your writing goes well and inspiration flows!

    1. Thanks! Wait are you homeschooled, or do you just ignore summer break?


Book discussions make the world a better place! Write me a comment - I respond to each and every one, I promise. So check back!

(YES! I LOVE TAGS and I do them! So tag away! But no bloggerly awards, though, like the Liebster or the Sisterhood of World Bloggers. Thank you!)