Passion and Pressure

I’ve noticed 3 important things after being published a few times now.

  1. I have never wanted to write more than I do now. Every writer wants to know that their words have meaning, that they resonate with readers, and that somewhere inside them, they have talent. Getting published gives a writer all of that reassurance. It motivates you to keep on going, to keep writing and moving people. It makes me want to write like crazy. I get irritated at my boss for making me do my real job because I could be using that time to write. (And then I remember what I’m being paid to do and I get to work anyways.) It makes me want to quit my job and move and spend all my time writing. The passion for writing has been reignited in me and I blame it on being published.
  2. I am even harder on myself now when I don’t write. I keep telling myself, “You won’t get anything published if you don’t write it.” And, “You’re published now and you haven’t even written anything in two days. You can’t get paid for it when you just don’t do it!” I have put more pressure on myself in the past few days to write and post and read than I have in quite some time.
  3. All the pressure I put on myself, takes away from the passion. I have to remind myself that if I write when I’m uninspired, and just to get something down on paper (or screen), that lack of passion will absolutely shine through and no one will want to read it. During my year-end review at CSU’s English Department, my internship advisor gave me some advice that I really took to heart: “Don’t be so hard on yourself. When you get like that, try to remember that your average is a lot of people’s best.” I have been trying to keep that in mind as I push myself to write, but like I’ve said before, I am my own worst critic. There is nothing that anyone can say about me and/or my writing that I have not already said to myself and thought about for an hour.

I guess my lesson in all of this non-sense is that the more you succedd, the more pressure you will inevitably feel, whether from outsiders or from yourself. But if you let that pressure steal your passion, there will be no more pressure because no one will care enough about what you’re doing. It’s important to find a balance between the passion and the pressure and to make sure that your self-loathing doesn’t get in your way.

“…but we also do it for the companionship. We like each other, and we like having a chance to talk sometimes about the real job, the day job people are always telling us to quit. We are writers and we know better than to ask one another where we get our ideas; we know we don’t know.” Stephen King, On Writing


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