There is a difference between writing and writing under pressure. You may have never really thought about it, but it is there, making our lives become even harder sometimes.
On a day like today, the world seems to be fine. I got up in the morning with nothing on my mind. Sure, I have certain things to do, mostly on the organizational side of life, but at least there is no big deadline coming up. Having finished my master thesis recently, I could experience first hand, what the difference in having pressure really means to our writing experience. Writing for the sake of writing, we all have those pictures in mind. An open veranda, a light summer evening breeze, a tasty wine. But writing is not always like that! Especially not under pressure. But where does the pressure come from anyways?
When having a deadline, or things will depend on it, the pressure will come automatically. Not primarily from the outside, but rather through our own mindset. And sure, how often do we write something without any pressure. Do we write just for the sake of writing? No! Of course not! Most of the time we write as a way of communicating ideas, thoughts, or write down an important thing. Something that came up in our lives, something we want to share with the world.
The difference, just in our heads. Either way, the process is the same. We use the same tools, the same strategies, the same equipment. The difference? Something will depend on it! It may be your master thesis, an article that will published online, or something a lot of people will read. And suddenly, the process of writing gets harder and harder the more we think about it. But that is just in our heads! Right? That’s just us, fooling ourselves?
We may have noticed this in other walks of life, but there is always a difference between doing something in training, or when it really counts, for example in a competition. We may show nerves, we may start to get tensed up. Things like this will happen. Sure, the more often we are in a situation like that, the easier it will be to manage it, but that’s not really helping us right now and right here in the moment!
The thing we need to understand, is that we think too much about what others could possibly say or think about us. We create these scenes in our heads and making things even worse. When in reality, we all just have so many problems in our own lives, that we do not even care as much about others as they might expect.
When writing under pressure, ask yourself where the pressure is coming from. Is this an internal thing, because you do not want to disappoint your readers, or does your future really depend on it? Is this a personal thing? Or the end of the world? And most of the time, the situations are not as painful as we might have thought about it! Sure, it’s a very important thing for you, but the readers are more interested inn the content anyways.
If you understand this, you can release the pressure. You can zoom back a little bit and finally see the bigger picture. Sure, the deadline is coming up on Monday, but that is still a lot of time. Of course you can freak out about it and run away! But you can also just write this thing, make it as good as possible and deal with the consequences.
Writing under pressure is something we can get used to over time! I see this with my blog, I have seen this with all the projects for university! The more often we find ourself in a situation like this, the easier we will be able to manage those situations.
But how should we really handle the situations?
- What is the reason for the pressure you experience?
- What are the consequences, if this thing will be a disappointment?
- How much time is there still left?
- Who will read it?
- What depends on it?
And after answering those questions around three to ten times, you will see where the level of pressure really is. And at least from my own experience, nine out of ten times we are just over-exaggerating things. We have this picture in our heads how hard it all is, but in reality, it is not that hard after all.
Keeping a cool head, I guess that is what we need to learn! Just keep on writing until it is finished and reread it another ten times. We might be good in writing already, but we are always better in spotting mistakes and things that are supposed to be better in this world. Use this for your advantage and go over your stuff another time. Imagine that this thing was written by someone else and look for ways how to improve it. At least for me, that is changing the game!
At the end of the day, the pressure is something we can control. Set your mindset right, and you will see, the other things will automatically follow.
See you next time!