Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Writing During Stressful Times

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Folks, I’m glad I can post something a little happier today.

During all this upheaval, I’ve continued to work on CHANGING FACES, and occasionally, other stories as I’ve had them. (CF is obviously the priority, though.) Sometimes, it’s slow-going. Other times, it flows out like water, and makes so much sense, I look at it and go, “Did I really write that?”

I think we all feel that way, as creative people. Whether you’re a writer, or a musician, or a cake-baker, or any other creative pursuit, there are times when creation is difficult. And there are times when it seemingly comes as easy as breathing.

Right now, I’m dealing with a lot of stress. Yet I must write, and I must finish CF as fast as I can, but also as well as I can. A hasty effort after all this time and energy put in would waste what I’ve done already.

I know what I need to do, you see. These stressful times may slow me up, but damn it, they’re not going to stop me.

So, last night I worked on chapters 46 and 47. And I’m proud of that, as it’s not easy to believe in something better right now…but I did it, and I’m glad.

As for how others get through stressful times in their lives but still write, I don’t know. In the past, I’ve written prose notes (what I think is going on with the story, without dialogue) if I have nothing else, just to make progress; I’ve also looked at the work-in-progress and meditated on what I’ve already done, to remind me that I don’t have to give in to the fear that the stress will keep me from completing my work in a timely fashion.

And sometimes, I go back and read other things I’ve written, just to remind myself I have a long baseline. I’ve created before and will create again, and just because I have an off night or a series of off nights, that does not at all mean I’m done and can’t do anything else, ever. (That is melodrama, and I need to stop that, cold.)

If anyone else has any tips for writing while under great stress, though, I’d love to hear ’em!

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Written by Barb Caffrey

October 20, 2016 at 1:10 pm

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