Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Writing Wednesdays // To Find Time To Write... (+ Some Excerpts of Some Stuff)


This topic has totally been done before--how do I find time to write? How do I manage to juggle everything going on in my life, keeping my priorities in check but still being able to write? 

Lately I've found myself wondering the same question.

See, sophomore year has the makings of being an extraordinarily tiring year, even though I've only completed seven days of it by today. (To be honest, it feels like seven years!)

I have Newspaper (zero period, once a week on Fridays), Language Arts II, AP European History (GARGOYLES), Spanish II (I don't like learning other languages. I like English), Algebra 2/Trig (If you zone out for one minute, you miss everything), and Chemistry (doesn't seem too hard). Then I'm starting a book club with my friend (adorably called "BookNerdz"), which will begin to meet every other Wednesday in October. In the meantime, we'll have to collect signatures and such from other members of the group.

Then I have tennis. Wonderful, wonderful tennis. If we don't have practice until 4:30, we have matches against other schools. And after our matches against other schools are completed, I get home around 6:30-7, eat dinner, take a shower, start homework, and end by 11. Ish. Plus I'm co-captain of the JV team, which means I have to send out texts, organize coordinating ribbons, wrangle out uniform issues, and organize Secret Sister.

Okay, now that I'm done outlining my entire schedule to you, I'll tell you how I'm finding time to write:

  • Deleted the Instagram app off my phone. My account's still there, and I'll check it occasionally on my computer, but I won't be stuck on it all the time.
  • I write during lunch break.
  • I write during the weekend.
  • I hang out with people when it's time to hang out, but I write at every chance I get.
  • When I don't have a chance to write, I don't stress out over it.
  • Waking up early.
  • Thinking about my characters and plot when I'm not able to write at the moment.
If you really think about it, you do have time to write. It's just a matter of finding that time. Try early morning. Or night. Or lunch break. That's what I'll be doing.

I'll also try to start drinking coffee. I think I might need it this year.

Also... don't get freaked out if I forget/don't have time to post. My priorities go in this order:
  1. Time w/ God
  2. Time w/ family
  3. School/sports
  4. Time w/ friends
  5. Writing The Mostly Unwilling Spy
  6. Writing this blog
I'll keep doing MMs and WWs and FFs, but I can't promise I'll have ALL of them in one week.

Speaking of The Mostly Unwilling Spy, let's have a couple excerpts, shall we? 


The meeting room sat at the end of a long dark hallway. It was simple, containing only an oval-shaped wooden table and seven black faux leather swivel chairs, along with a Helper in a dark corner. It was as unmenacing as it could be.
Yet as Quentin Bobb walked down the hallway, striding in between Harvey Yeness and Brooks Penn, a sense of dread came over him. This is it, he told himself. This is the moment.
This is where we decide to send a little girl to her doom.

In a safe house ten miles away, Hilary Bobb decided that she was done being a spy.
“I’m not going to be a spy,” she announced to her eighteen-year-old sister Serra, gathering her crop tops and stuffing them in the hideous Forever 21 bag. “I will not wear crop tops anymore. I will not wear skater skirts or heels. I will not participate in missions that require me to be people I don’t want to be!” Her last mission--to infiltrate a boy band and sniff out a sabotage--had required her to become a groupie. Hilary preferred, if possible, not to pretend to be anyone who wore crop tops. It hadn’t helped that the saboteur--the band’s manager--had bungled up his crimes so well Hilary and her team had caught him in two hours. Two hours! “It’’ abomination! Like the snowman!”
“I’m sorry about that.” Serra was stuck on her phone, like she had been the past few days. “Hilary, doesn’t it--”
“I am going to burn my crop tops on the balcony.” Hilary swung her bag back and forth, a blur of yellow. “And when Mom and Dad come back from their mission, I will tell them that I am not going to carry on their spying lineage, and that I will grow up and live to be a perfectly normal--”
“Hilary,” Serra interrupted, looking up from her phone. “Doesn’t it seem odd that they haven’t updated Mom and Dad’s SpyNet page status in days?”
“Huh?” said Hilary.
“They haven’t updated Mom and Dad’s SpyNet mission page.” Now Serra’s nose was practically touching the phone screen, and her voice was muffled as she furiously tried to refresh the page. “Mission Control is usually so good about doing those types of things. It’s sort of fishy. Usually they say something like, ‘Still working. Currently progressing.’ But there’s nothing. Zero. nada.”
“Everything’s sort of fishy when you’re eighteen and a recently promoted Strategic Espionage geek.” Hilary pawed through her bag, making sure all her crop tops were present. All of these offensive articles of clothing must die! “You think everything’s suspicious.”
Serra glared at her sister. “I’m an Inferagent, not a ‘Strategic Espionage geek.’ Please call me by my correct profession.”
“Nobody calls anybody by their correct professions. You’re in Strategic Espionage, Mission Control, or Field Work. Or you’re an Intellagent.” Hilary smirked. “At least I passed the Gray Smith Espionage Exam.”
“You’re being childish.” Serra drew herself up and took a deep breath, clearly trying not to be upset. “Go outside and don’t draw any attention to yourself. This is a safe house and we’re part of the United States Spying Association, so act accordingly.” She returned to her phone, her cheeks red despite her best efforts. It had long been a common fact that she, a granddaughter of the legendary Intellagent David Bobb, had not passed the Gray Smith Espionage Exam and, subsequently, was not allowed to become an Intellagent, the highest form of spy. All people belonging to the United States Spying Association were considered spies; Intellagents were the people who actually spied.
Serra had been the first Bobb ever not to pass the Gray Smith Espionage Exam.
Hilary whistled as she skipped out onto the second-floor balcony into the Los Angeles heat, smiling like she did every day when she remembered that Serra had not passed the GSEE, and she, Hilary, the younger and more immature one, had.
Then she frowned. During the ceremony, during which the highest GSEE scorers were announced, her uncle Quentin (the emcee) had shared the news of Hilary’s perfect score and then proudly declared, “It is my honor to announce my niece Hilary as one of the most phenomenal spies the USSAS has ever seen, or, as a matter of fact, the USSA has ever seen.” He’d gone on to list Hilary’s various qualities--agility, smarts, good control of body language, etc., etc.--and then had finished by saying, “Hilary, we look forward to the day when you finally join the USSA as an Intellagent.”
Now, as Hilary took a match and lit it with one deft movement, she wanted to know: Why had they all assumed that she was going to be an Intellagent? Just because she was good at those things didn’t mean she had to be an Intellagent. What if she wanted to be something else? Maybe she could be a police officer. Or a swim coach. Or something normal, where you could do normal things like dye your hair and get henna tattoos without anyone ragging on you about spying regulations and blending in with civilians and junk like that.
“I’m not going to be a spy,” she said out loud, just to see how it would make her feel.
It felt good.
She dropped her match into the portable fire pit--which no one had probably used since the eighteen hundreds--watching as the flames licked up the rotting wood. Right when they were the right height and color, she dropped the bag of crop tops right in the fire. It made a satisfying plop, followed by several crackles and a pop. The offensively vibrant bag gradually turned charcoal black, and the crop tops looked endearingly singed. Hilary stood there, transfixed by the sight. On impulse, she turned out to the outward world, staring at the rows of Los Angeles city condominiums and shouted to them, “Those are the last crop tops I will ever wear!”
Alas, that statement was not to be true.
The crop tops were nearly black by now, and crumbling to black bits. Hilary wrinkled her nose at the smell of burning cloth and turned to leave, but out of the corner of her eye she saw a clear liquid fall from the roof, straight into the fire.
The flames heaved outward in a violent explosion. Hilary threw herself to the floor, dimly aware of a tingling sensation searing her back and throwing her into waves of pain. Once it was over, she got up and turned, gingerly touching her back.
A black-covered figure was standing on the balcony, wielding a pair of nunchucks.

This is about a thousand words total. I have about 3500 written right now. I know I'm definitely going to show some more of this to you guys; for now, share your thoughts. What do you think of this? Any helpful suggestions that you might have? Were you confused at all during the story? PLEASE COMMENT! I love feedback!


  1. Rcubed,
    Your story is awesome!! And i totally get your time related problems. How come 24 hours isn't enough when your a teen, but when your little its like, a million hours.

    And it looks like we are taking the same classes. (Only mine are the home schooled version.) but just wait. Chem.= not that much fun. (BLECK!!)

    I have so much fun reading your blog!! keep up the hard work!!!

    Rachel Schaus editor in chief of "Notes from my corner of creation."

    1. Thanks! (I agree that chem is not fun. AT ALL.)