When I first moved to Berlin the one big difference to London that I raved about to my friends was how much more spare time I had. In London I was working long, intense days, spending a lot of time rammed onto the central line, spending a lot of money meeting up with friends, and getting home late and exhausted, to make a quick stuffed pasta meal from Tesco and then veg out in front of the TV. In Berlin, my hours are flexible, I cycle to work in 20min, and with social gatherings tending to start later in the evening, I have a lot more time and creative energy to write in the evenings after work.

This week, that’s all changed.

I’ve just started German evening classes, four nights a week. I know what you’re probably thinking. You’ve lived in Germany for almost 6 months and you’re only NOW starting to learn German? Uh… yeah. It’s super easy to get by in Berlin without a scrap of German. I’ve learnt how to navigate through the grocery store, how to order at a bar, and otherwise I speak in English to everyone. But obviously, that’s not going to cut it for the long term. Plus, it’s a pretty fun challenge to learn a new language. I never contemplated learning German in school, but now, here I am, living in Germany.

A view over the Spree to the TV tower, Berlin

So now my daily schedule is rammed. I leave the house at 8:30, cycle to work, finish at 17:30, cycle to German class, and sit in class from 18:00 to 21:00, in time to cycle home for a late dinner, and maybe a bit of writing before bed. And that’s Monday to Thursday, with Friday my only night off from class.

So, how on earth am I going to make time for creative writing, blogging, reading, (oh, and hopefully a social life) in this hectic schedule? Well, that’s still to be determined, but here are a few ways I’m managing so far.

Reading – finding the time.

Reading a book

Now that I cycle, I no longer have that perfect reading time on the morning and evening commute. So I’ve intentionally started reading on my lunch breaks, or otherwise I’d never read! I also try to read for about 20 min when I wake up in the morning (but this is hard, when the alternative is a 20 min lie in!) I’ve set myself a pretty [ambitious reading list], and having it public is a good motivator to keep reading.

Writing – finding instant gratification.

My novels on wattpad

This one’s even harder. Sitting down to write takes a lot of creative energy. I often need to get myself in the zone by scrolling through my inspiration boards on Pinterest, rereading a lot of what I’ve written, going over my story plan, and then eventually pushing myself into writing a new chapter.

Basically, writing requires a lot of motivation. And it’s so easy to get distracted with social media, which provides instant gratification. So I’ve needed to give myself some instant gratification with my writing, too.

I do this by posting what I’ve written onto story-sharing platform, Wattpad. There, people read my work, vote on it, and leave comments. It’s instant feedback to what I’m writing, and serves as a great motivation to keep writing another chapter. If you’re a fiction writer, especially a young adult fiction writer (Wattpad’s aimed at teens), I’d definitely recommend getting your writing on Wattpad, asap.

Blog writing also gives me that instant gratification feeling. I can write a post, upload it, and people around the world will read it and share their thoughts. I love the aspect of sharing my thoughts with fellow bloggers – people who have the same creative vibes and goals as I do. Surrounding myself with other blogger’s posts, their big creative goals and thoughts and dreams, motivates me to write more.

Finding time for a social life.

Holzmarkt in Berlin

Well… I guess goodbye, social life.

Do you love reading and writing as much as I do? Find me on Wattpad, where you can read the latest chapter of my novel, Ruthless, that I just uploaded today! (Hooray, instant gratification!)

If you want to see updates in photo form of my wanderings around Europe, follow me on Instagram.

And tell me in the comments, how do you make time for your writing? Any tips to share?