Writing Under Pressure
I need to get better at writing under pressure. And I don’t mean deadlines. Deadlines are a type of pressure, and I have been meeting deadlines as a writer for years. I’m proud of my record when it comes to that, in fact. The sort of pressure I mean is being able to write under less than ideal, or less than peaceful circumstances.
Only on a handful of rare occasions have I tried to write anything on my laptop in a coffee shop or a library. (Though these days, it seems coffee houses are more likely to be quiet. Seriously, whatever happened to library voices?) The times I did attempt this, I felt out of place, bogged down, and unable to focus, though I do find non-fiction easier to write outside of my routine than fiction though I don’t know why.
If I’m going to evolve as a writer beyond a certain point, I probably need to find a way to work when there’s noise, activity, and unfamiliar surroundings. (Or familiar surroundings that are not my home.) A good writer can write anywhere, right?
Okay, maybe not. Maybe I’ll never be able to compose an acceptable blog post, or the first draft of a good short story while sitting in the middle of Times Square. But if I can get to the point where there’s at least some tunnel vision to my writing task any given day, I can only benefit. A writer must write, and if I can limber up enough to write at least a little bit of something in the middle of slight chaos, I’ll be able to write more often. Like a track star who trains by running with weights on his ankles.
Plus, working at a cafe’ might occasionally open up my creativity in ways that sitting at my desk day in and day out cannot do. So I’ll probably make the effort to go to a cafe’ or the library once or twice in the near future, just to test and strengthen my ability to write somewhere else, with more noise than here at home.
And practice will be needed, believe me. I’m such a creature of writing habit, I’ve been using the same computer keyboard for about 13 years now. I’m somewhat used to my laptop because of how often I go to my sister’s house with it. And while her house is sometimes a bit chaotic, it’s nothing like a coffee house.
I’ll report on my progress in this endeavor as time goes on.
But know this…I’m still not going to drink coffee no matter where I end up writing.
- Posted in: Writing