Monday, July 22, 2013

Writing with Feeling While Under Pressure

I've read many books lately where it was apparent the author was stressed, burned out, or under too much pressure to get the book done. The books fell flat in one (or more) of many ways. Ways such as: the romance not paying off, the tension not being high enough, the main character not being involved in the solution, the humor falling flat, etc.

I don't have answers for how to prevent this, and am wondering what you all think. Sometimes you DO have deadlines. Sometimes you DO have people waiting for you. And to me, it's important to keep agreements and goals and meet deadlines. So how does a writer manage to put something together that is emotionally satisfying, even when they're burned out?

Think about it. In every single other profession, you're expected to put forth quality work even when you hate your job. You don't get paid otherwise. And bosses, clients, patients, etc., won't wait patiently for you to get excited again. Why is it that many artists feel they're different in this regard, and again, what can we do to write with power when we're in this type of situation?

Like I said, I don't have the answers. I'm hoping all of you do. :-)


  1. I think there are a few things to consider here:
    1. The author may not have been under pressure but just not technically skilled enough to pull off the actual writing.
    2. The author may have been "pantsing" the story and never had a good idea for finishing and just threw something together, pressure or no.
    3. Creative fields are different to a certain extent. You can't mandate inspiration or ideas. Artists of any sort like to use this to set them apart from "normal" careers.
    4. However, practice and discipline help create the ideas, inspiration, and creative drive to get things accomplished when you need to do them. (Artists who wait for inspiration to strike often produce nothing or very little.)

    1. Also, if you create the environment, even when forced, and it becomes a habit, then things become much easier. Your brain will naturally know that this is "create" time. And you'll fall into it much easier. At least, that's how it is for me. :-) When I set aside time to write every day at the same time (trying to be as consistent as possible with a baby), I'm much more productive during that time, then if I just threw words at my manuscripts here and there.

      I really, really agree with your points, especially one and two. Sometimes it's glaringly obvious when someone is a pantser and didn't fully flesh out their plot. There's nothing wrong with writing that way, but if they don't go back and fill in the holes, readers will figure it out very quickly.