Juggling Wants and Needs (novel vs summer assignments)

Since I have found that I neither wish to write or read today, I decided to do a blog post on this very subject.

Once school ended in June, I placed it upon myself to finish my novel (which is more than halfway done) by the end of summer. That is, August 11th. However, in the meantime I must read Grapes of Wrath for AP English, complete an essay on it, then read Killer Angels for Honors American History. Now, there has only been one book that I really hated (Jacob Have I loved), so I have no problem reading either of these books. As far as I’ve gotten in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, I rather like this book that was critiqued by my friends as “absolutely awful,” “boring,” “just try to get through it,” etc. But the problem is that it find it hard to read for a long period of time. I even decided I would read 5 chapters a day and get it done in 6 days, but it has been left sitting there on the couch for three days once I got to chapter 11. The end of summer is coming soon, and I know that I will get busier as the month speeds along, so procrastinating is certainly a dangerous risk when it comes to completing my summer assignments.

Yet completing these tasks also takes away time for me to write, to plan, to daydream about scenes and characters, dialogue and plotlines. What I find most awful about all this is that I know if I pushed myself I would have time for both. However, waking up at 10 and ready to do stuff at 1pm, really leaves me with much less time to work, and for me, the later it is at night, the less productive I am.

So what do I do? I MUST complete the reading/essay assignments, but I WANT to finish my book. And by now I can admit to myself that completing my novel will not come before this up-coming school year. Still, I want to write as much as I possibly can, and that takes several hours for me since I am a slow writer. I know that my answer is simple:

Either wake up much earlier, and get on task right away, doing both activities within that day, or push my story aside and use what active time I have to read.

It all comes to a question of priorities and the strength of my own willpower. I, Abigail Krocker, who wishes to major in Children’s Literature and become a good enough author to support myself and possibly a family, can not find the time to read (even though I have plenty of time), and can not write quickly, either. Laziness and procrastination may be a writer’s worst enemy. I believe it is mine.

In order to become what I’ve dreamed of for my entire high school career, I have to push through this, even if it comes to a more egotistical stance where I want to show off what I can do to my teachers. (Yes, that may mean a teacher’s pet, but if it is for writing, I will gadly be that.) If it takes my teachers being proud of me and thinking of me as promising to fulfill my tasks promptly and to the best of my abilities, then I will do it.

And hopefully, with that goal to look up to, and my dream career, I can get quite a lot done by the end of summer. Wish me luck!

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