It is normal to feel pressure when you’ve set goals for yourself, but knowing how to deal with pressure as a writer is usually a little difficult.
Becoming a writer is the easy part because there’s so much you’ll have to deal with as your journey progresses. The feeling of pressure could be triggered by a lot of things, one of which is meeting up with deadlines or sticking to a drawn schedule mapped out for a project.
It’s important to note that looking up to a public figure in the industry doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be like them. In truth, they serve as motivation for the kind of things you’d like to inculcate in your craft and become an authority in your niche.
It shouldn’t drive you to go overboard with trying to catch up with them or act like them.
Things that could cause the pressure cooker to get turned up a notch include imposter syndrome, deadlines, writer’s block, lack of focus, low productivity, fear, doubt, and anxiety amongst others.
It’s common to have these feelings pile up over time and erupt all at once or one at a time; therefore, it is up to you to stay conscious of your mental and emotional well-being as a writer.
Here are 6 tips on How To Deal With Pressure As A Writer
1. Take Time-outs/Breaks
Truth be told, you have to learn to do this consciously. With random ideas popping up now and then plus drafts piling up to the brim, the pressure could pop up the lid on your sanity or leave you frustrated and drained.
Taking a much-needed break helps you pick things apart & focus.
2. Engage in Other non-writing Activities
Surprisingly, things like cooking a meal, cleaning, and taking a long walk could help take your mind off everything. It’s a therapeutic measure that works like magic if you are a domestic person. If you aren’t, long walks or a hangout, away from the chaos could also help.
Sleeping doesn’t help much; if anything it might raise the pressure cooker from the dead. In truth, a restless mind needs to be calm before it can take a rest.
3. Re-evaluate Your W.I.P
Pressure could arise within the WIP itself and it packs a punch when it comes from within because it will leave you at the nail-biting and hair-pulling point. So, when you’re at a fix on which way forward or simply have a creative block, re-evaluating your drafts & WIP works well.
This way, you get to understand the purpose & intention of your story and pick it up from there.
4. Encourage Yourself to Press On
You are your biggest motivator.
Despite how tough it can be in this competitive environment, you should try to look inward for the strength to press on.
Pressure builds in the mind from doubt & fear, so, encourage yourself not to think too much about the unknown and focus on one thing at a time.
5. Write For Release
On days when the lid eventually pops off and boils over, I advise letting all that pent-up energy flow through your pen on a soulful piece.
Guarding your Mental & Emotional health is paramount, therefore it is important to monitor your state of mind at all times. I find writing for release therapeutic because it has a healing touch to it.
It helps you let go & just put down your feelings into words. I know you’ll sleep better after such episodes.
6. Do What Makes You Happy
You’re weird in your way.
Doing what makes you smile and feel relaxed is a great way to let go of the pressure and free your mind. It could be virtually anything at all, pick the weirdest of them all and bask in the delight of doing what makes you glow up and smile.
Fighting pressure artificially will only work for a short while, but finding what works best for you will last a long time and become a part of your life routine.
You are a masterpiece of your creation, what you feed your mind will take root and sprout from within. If you give room for pressure to take root, it leaves an indelible mark and causes more harm than good.
Notice the signs, and take preemptive actions to tackle them in time.