Aya de Leon

How does she do it? All of us have those friends and colleagues who we look at with awe. They seem to be juggling so much, and doing it all! Aya de Leon, our write-minded guest, is one of those writers, and she’s got some wisdom to impart. Brooke and Grant acknowledge their own struggles with time (and doing it all!), discussing deadlines, time management, and, as always, sharing some inspiring stories of people who’ve made it happen in the most creative of ways and in the smallest cracks of time.


Aya de Leon directs the Poetry for the People program, teaching creative writing at UC Berkeley. Kensington Books publishes her Justice Hustlers series of feminist heists: Uptown Thief, The Boss, and The Accidental Mistress. Her writing and performance work have received acclaim in the Village Voice, Washington Post, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Express, and American Theatre Magazine. A graduate of Harvard College, with an MFA in fiction from Antioch University, Aya has been an artist in residence at Stanford University, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a slam poetry champion. She blogs and tweets about culture, gender, and race. Find her at @ayadeleon.

Writing Action: Examine How You Allocate Your Time to Make More Time for Writing

For a few days or up to a week, record what you do (loosely even) and then quantify how much time is spent doing: work, housework, time with family, watching TV, exercise—whatever the things are that you do. Make a pie chart of how you spend your time. See what slice of the pie might be able to shrink in order to accommodate more writing time. Put the pie chart in your writing space as a reminder. You can also change it as you start to change your habits and carve out more time for more writing.

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