Saturday, 7 August 2010

Do you write with a smile?

In a way I'm lucky that all the writing I do doesn't have any deadlines. This means I can write when I feel like it and I can set my own rhythm. I do however set myself a wordcount target because I do need a bit of pushing and it forces me to get into a routine. I usually stick to my targets and make sure I write every day, otherwise I get a bit lazy.

However, as I hear authors rushing to meet their deadlines and having to write 4000 words a day to reach them, I wonder if the pressure dampens the joy of writing for them. I often find myself smiling as I write because I'm enjoying it and I have time to relish in the process knowing I don't have to finish it by a certain date and there is no axe over my head when I don't write because I want to think the scene out at a leisurely pace.

After all, not being published, has to have some benefits.

Do you need pressure to write? Do you feel happy when you write or do you see it as an obligation?


  1. I need pressure to do most anything! LOL! I see it as both an obligation and a joy. It's like if someone has the gift to be a doctor and not doing it. I feel like this is my gift and if I don't do it, I'm depriving myself of something.

    I cannot WAIT! until I have to write full time and I'm struggling to meet deadlines. But I'm a work under pressure type of girl. I thrive under pressure. Cramming for tests was always easy for me.

  2. Oh, good question. When I'm in the midst of writing, I thoroughly enjoy it. It's such a great escape. I think what makes it hard on me is feeling the time crunch from other pressures. Life always seems to get in the way of writing, so when I do get to do it, it is a release for me. I wonder what it will be like when I do feel the pressure of deadlines, though. I can only hope the smile will remain.

  3. I always write with a smile - writing is so much better than the day job! But edits, those are another matter. I'm beginning to think gritted teeth look good on me...

  4. I write with a smile :) editing makes me smile in victory when I successfully rewrite the bits that annoyed me :)

  5. There are times when having to write to a deadline is a pain and yet I always enjoy the writing process... even if I've had to get up at 6 am to get it done. Without a deadline I run the risk of flitting from one uncompleted piece to the next. The thought of you smiling as you write makes me smile.

  6. I hate writing when I don't feel like it; it saps most of the good right out of it and I write crap. But sometimes, if I keep at it long enough, I do start to enjoy it again. Being unpublished does have its benefits!

    By the way, since my blog name has changed, your little link for me won't work. :]

  7. I wish I had a little pressure... Not a lot, just enough to make me prioritize writing over other things. Right now I don't really have the time to write anyway, but eventually, I think I will need to set a word count or X minutes per day goal, or I'll NEVER finish anything...

    (I do smile when writing, though!)

  8. Sarah already knows what I think from Twitter - but in answer: When I was a freelance journo and wrote short fiction for the womags I felt no pressure (mostly) and I then started several novels for pleasure. When I made the transition to novelist, it changed. Each book has become harder to write and I have short deadlines and lead times eg 5 months this time to write 85000 words. And there are the other things that come into it, too. I now judge things, speak at Festivals etc, which you must do, to keep the name out there.

    I'm not complaining (much!) I'm very priviledged. I just wish I earnt more than the minimum national wage...

  9. I write with a smile - it's when I read back over it that I get all super critical and the fun disappears.

    I envy published writers, but not their deadlines as too much pressure dries up all my creative juices.

    J x

  10. I find the thought that people are actually going to read my words and pass judgement on them very daunting. That stresses me out - not so much the deadlines. I need some kind of deadline to get my ass in gear.

  11. Thanks everyone for sharing. I hope those of us who haven't been published can still smile when we have to meet deadlines.
    And those of you who do have deadlines, I hope you have many more.
    As for edits/rewrites, I don't smile with them, I find it so boring.

  12. Tears stream down my (handsome) face when I write, such is the power of my prose. Straight up.


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