I was in seventh grade. In a class with our school counselor, I learned a fascinating truth:
Stress can be a good thing.
We started talking about the difference between eustress and distress. We took a stress factor inventory. It just so happened that was a more-stressful-than-most year for me, which I took in with a certain sense of pride. Yeah, I guess I was that kid.
This learning has become embedded in my thinking as an adult—especially as a writer. In fact, it is a key factor in how I consider and evaluate my writer’s life.
To write, I need pressure. To write, I can’t have too much pressure. Striking the right balance to be a productive and effective writer is often in the back of my mind.
What causes pressure for a writer? Here are a few I can think of:
- Writing as a source of income.
- Sharing writing with a new person.
- Sharing writing with many new people (often easier than the one above).
- Self-motivation and goals.
- Peer accountability.
- Reader expectations (both perceived and real).
- Speaking truth.
- Sharing love.
- Writing well.
- Finding your why.
- To-do list (writing).
- To-do list (life).
- Deadl—okay, you get it.
If I put too much weight on any of these things, I can’t function as a writer. If I don’t have enough of these things, I don’t write. For example, look at this blog. Usually, I write every week. Near the end of the summer, I took a break. But the fall is here! And the pressure is on. Happy to be back, friends. Let’s get writing.