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A Rotten Day of Writing

Yesterday? It was not fun. It was not fun because I sat at my desk all day long trying to write and I wrote nothing. That's not entirely true. I wrote a few words here and there. And then I deleted them. And then I opened new documents and took notes. And then I did some research. And then I tried to write again. Rinse and repeat. Yuck.

I'm trying to figure out why the day was such a bust. I know that some writing days are good and some less so, but yesterday was particularly disheartening. And I think it had something to do with pressure. You see, it's been a few weeks since I submitted my first pages to my agent and I had hoped to submit weekly, to make swift progress on the writing of my second novel. And now. This weekend is my sister-in-law's wedding (Yay!) and next week is Thanksgiving (Yay!) and I can just see the weeks flying by without getting work done. I don't like this.

So. I had a little chat with myself, silent but stern, and determined that I will get my agent a substantial chunk of pages before heading to the wedding this weekend. And I also told myself that I would accomplish this over the course of yesterday and today so that I can spend the rest of the week primping and preparing for my role as bridesmaid and my little girls' role as flower girls.

So, yes, pressure.

Well, it turns out that this kind of pressure doesn't always work for me. I sat there yesterday staring out at a beautiful blue gray sky and I was stressed. I felt frozen and fearful. Honestly? I do not usually feel these things when I am writing. I love writing and usually have fun with it. But yesterday? Not fun.

So. Today is a new day. And I will be trying again. I will be sitting here at this desk, looking out, putting words to the page. I will try to relax about it, to have faith that the sentences and story will come, because I know they will. In time. Maybe not by the end of the day, but in time.

How do we writers discipline ourselves, keep ourselves writing and making progress, without stifling our own creativity with too much self-inflicted pressure? I have not a clue, but if you do, please share it with me. And all of us. Pretty please.


Do you sometimes put undue pressure on yourself to perform? Do you do well with such self-inflicted pressure? Any sage words of encouragement for this temporarily down-trodden writer?

On Freedom & Motherhood (Happy Birthday, Mom.)