Writer’s Life: Pressure

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:

  1. Writing as a source of income.
  2. Deadlines.
  3. Sharing writing with a new person.
  4. Sharing writing with many new people (often easier than the one above).
  5. Deadlines.
  6. Self-motivation and goals.
  7. Peer accountability.
  8. Reader expectations (both perceived and real).
  9. Speaking truth.
  10. Deadlines.
  11. Sharing love.
  12. Writing well.
  13. Finding your why.
  14. To-do list (writing).
  15. To-do list (life).
  16. 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.

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