Anyone who knows me personally will read the title of this post and call me a hypocrite. I’m known for going from 0-10 in the time it takes someone to tell me bad news or to reveal that suddenly I have a lot more work than I planned for. This is a struggle I know others share, so I felt it important to discuss in terms of writing, planning, and deadlines.
Let me start off by saying that I’m not a pantser. I typically plan out my writing, or at least have some general idea of what I want to say. Knowing where my writing is taking me puts me in the driver’s seat. Rather than letting my writing control me, I control my writing. That alone allows me to breath easier, because I don’t have to stress about running into dead ends or running out of things to talk about. I’ve already done the hard work of pre-planning.
Because there’s so much that goes into preparing to write, I think I’ll leave that for another blog. I’d like to go in-depth through the process, and if I started that now you’d most likely exit this page if you haven’t already.
Don’t allow the stress of a looming deadline or a topic that feels too big for you to force you to shut down. Shutting down is anything from freaking out to giving up. My shut down process typically looks like anger -> angry tears -> angry words -> self deprivation -> giving up. I’m telling you now, don’t allow those things to become destructive habits. I’ve wasted many days and nights thinking I couldn’t do something that I very well could. Don’t sell yourself short.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to plan for these moments. Expect to hit a wall and before you do, find your way around it. Know your personality, how you write best, what allows you to work at your full capacity, and guard those habits. If you need to go to Starbucks, go to Starbucks or recreate the atmosphere at home. If you need to write in the quiet, get up early or stay up late. Don’t make excuses for your sanity. It is of the upmost importance that you take care of yourself, because the better you feel, the better you’ll write.