Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Pressure


Pressure is something we all feel from time to time. Pressure to write a great book, to find an agent, to get a good book deal, to make a living from writing. I've seen great writers talk about quitting, and it makes me sad. I know quite a few NY Times Bestsellers. Sometimes that's tough for me because as happy as I am to see my friends succeed, I wonder if I'll ever get there myself. That's when I feel the pressure.

There's one thing I do know for certain, though. I'll never stop writing. I'll never stop trying to become a NY Times Bestseller. But you know what? I'll also never take it for granted that I can write for a living. It's the best job in the world (after being Mom), and I'm so thankful that my husband makes enough money to pay the bills and my income isn't that big of a deal. Sure I make money writing and editing, but I'm no J.K. Rowling or Rick Riordan. For now, I'm okay with that.

I keep reminding myself that it's okay to push toward my dreams, but I have to also enjoy the journey—where I am now. I'll never stop feeling the pressure this industry can place on me, but I won't let it consume me either.

How do you deal with the pressure of the writing industry?

39 comments:

  1. That's awesome that you write full-time. I'd like to do that one day. Yes, we must always aim high. I know I do. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you do. I'm amazed by all the contracts you've signed recently and how much you read. You definitely aim high. :)

      Delete
  2. Pressure is always making its way around us, and most of the time, it can be really suffocating. I always say I will try to not let it get to me, but if I said it didn't, I would be kidding myself.
    But you said it right here, Kelly... "I'll never stop writing." Our passion seems to override pressure; especially when we take the time to breath and enjoy the journey. There are so many reasons why we might not make it on the NY Times bestselling list. Our writing might not be good enough just yet, our names are still needles lost in the endless haystacks or simply put...it just isn't our time yet. But through the years, we grow as writers and our words and stories change. They become better and more enlightened. We use our determination and imagination to create epic tales, meaningful stories and humorous anecdotes. "Don't Stop. Won't Stop. Can't Stop." That's my motto! Writing can never leave those who are truly passionate about it. It is our gift and the world is a better place with writers like you in it, Kelly!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always writing is part of who I am. I can't stop writing no matter what or I'd feel like part of me was missing.

      You're such a sweetheart, Gina. I'm so glad we've connected through our blogs. :)

      Delete
  3. Sometimes I find the pressure stimulating. Sometimes I just wish to hug my Hobbes plushie and forget about the entire ordeal.
    I think that the best way to deal with this sort of pressure is to write. It's difficult to feel *that* upset when you're in the middle of writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great point. Writing can also be a way to escape the pressure. Losing yourself in characters and stories that aren't your own is great therapy.

      Delete
  4. Right now I'm not dealing with the pressure too well..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've got it coming at you from all angles right now so that's understandable. You'll get through it though.

      Delete
  5. I don't have the pressure from the writing industry. I actually have more pressure from my day job which interferes with my writing. :)

    If I could write for a living and make the same pay, that would be lovely. I would write all day if that were the case. But instead, I get to debug code that someone else wrote 10 years ago. Such is life. How ironic.

    I'm still happy for your success Kelly. I do consider your accomplishments making you a successful author. I think you will make the list and it will be your time definitely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Diane. It means a lot to know you think that of me. I hope you're right.

      Delete
  6. I know for myself the minute I start to take things too seriously, it all falls apart. The hardest thing is resisting the urge to compare yourself with other people. It's tough, especially when a lot of what happens is outside of your control. Just stay true to yourself (like you do!) and good things will come your way. Sometimes the more you chase it, the more a dream seems to retreat into the distance. Just keep on doing what you're doing. You've already made remarkable strides in just the last three months alone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Faith. I try to keep my mind on what I'm doing and not worry about what will come of it, but I think it's natural to dream and try to reach for that dream.

      Delete
  7. I spent 20 years in a pressure cooker, so writing to me is a lovely change. Sure there is the pressure to succeed, to write, and to get it right, but when I go to bed now I am thinking of the book I'm working on not the horrors I heard on a nightly basis at 9-1-1. It all depends on how you look at it I guess.

    Plus I get to dream that someday I may grow up and become a Kelly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, Sherry. That is possibly the best compliment ever. I don't even know what to say to that. :) Thank you.

      Delete
  8. I have a lot of back up plans I guess. I guess if I were rich, I might be the crazy person with a bunker out back 'just in case.' For now I am just breathing. I pray I find an agent soon to help me be profitable. At the moment I handle stress by keeping up the hope that I am going in the right direction! Oh and then there is chocolate. I agree with others. We all need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Envy never helped anyone. Too bad it is easier said then done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, unfortunately it is easier said than done. And I hear you on the chocolate. ;) Good luck with your agent search.

      Delete
  9. That's amazing you can be a full time writer. I'd like to be there one day, but I'm feeling pressure to find a "real" career path. I have a bad habit of comparing myself to other successful authors. I'm happy for them and they show it is possible to make a living as a writer. But, like you said, I wonder when or if I'll get there. I can't stop writing so it's not like I can give up. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. I can't imagine not writing, so I'll just keep reaching for my goals.

      Delete
  10. I try not to compare myself to others. Every journey to success is different and unique. Sometime it's easy to take one day at the time, sometimes not. Fortunately we have our friends, family, fellow authors and beta readers to tell us we can do this! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, our support systems are wonderful for helping us push through doubts and pressure. :)

      Delete
  11. Ha--I don't! I guess that's my solution. At some point I had to stop caring so much about the industry to not let it get me down. We gotta do our own thing in order to produce great work, in my opinion. I love seeing you pursue your dreams. That's the best any of us can do in this lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is the best we can do because somethings are out of our control. We just try our best to make them happen.

      Delete
  12. There are all kinds of pressures... I've dealt with my own share. All you can do is keep pushing on through it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't think there is a writer alive who doesn't feel the same pressure. Myself included. I have a full time career and fit writing in around it, which is maddening. However, over the years I've learned to be disciplined. I've managed to finish writing a book in the past few months while working in a less than wonderful place. Now... the pressure is on to finish my edits and get them to my favorite editor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) I think you're doing a great job balancing writing with the other aspects of your life, Brenda.

      Delete
  14. I'm hoping you'll be on that list someday, Kelly! It's the writer's ultimate dream, isn't it? That, and to have Ryan Gosling play some part in their book-to-movie adaptation... Oh, wait, is that just my dream? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Leandra! Yes, it is the ultimate dream. lol The Ryan Gosling part may be your dream. ;)

      Delete
  15. Yes, there's healthy pressure and there's crushing pressure, and hopefully we can use the healthy kind as motivation and not allow the other kind to weigh us down. Sometimes it's ridiculous where pressure comes from, though. I just blogged about pressure from a TBR pile that's too tall. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, TBR lists can make us feel pressure. Mine is huge!

      Delete
  16. A few years back I decided that pressure was a positive thing only when I applied it to matters that depended on me and me alone. Complete a manuscript or a revision by a certain time? Sure. Produce a certain number of new stories by the end of the year? Positively.
    But letting go of goals that I had no control of (having a story sell by a certain time, for example) can be a recipe for despair, and useless for accomplishing anything else.
    Sticking to what *I can do* has been very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, some things are out of our control. We can strive for them, but we can't make them happen.

      Delete
  17. Great post and one I think many of us can relate to! Some pressure is positive and keeps us going, but it is important to find a balance where it isn't overwhelming.

    How wonderful that you can spend your time writing and doing what you love. I long for the day when I can spend most of my time writing, but for now I juggle it with my full-time job. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really admire people who write and work full-time jobs. I did it for a while when I started writing and it wasn't easy.

      Delete
  18. Lol, when don't we feel the pressure? But sometimes, a little pressure gets us going. It's okay to tell ourselves we need that break. A short one. And it's good to keep telling ourselves that we're doing okay. I will keep writing, too. Making stories is one of the best things to do in this world. Kelly, when you hit the NY Times Bestsellers' list, I would get to tell people that I know a bestselling author. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Claudine. It would be amazing if that happened.

      Delete
  19. In my case, the pressure is on being good enough. I have an inner critic that's behaving like a workaholic and it prevents me from moving forward.
    By the way, chances are you'll have a NY Times Bestseller one day. You are well on your way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you, Vanessa. That's very sweet of you to say.

      Delete

I love comments, but not spam. All spam will be deleted.