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The Pressures of Writing


I’ve always loved writing. Words are like an extension of my own body and I turn to them through times good and bad. When I was around eight, I used to write stories based on the Sylvanian Families I used to collect and I loved nothing more than when I could spend lessons writing about imaginary worlds and flex my writing muscles. Now, I turn to poetry when I need to express myself and characters occupy my head, waiting to be brought to life on the page through magic metaphors and daring imagery.

Having the dream of making a living out of my writing, though, has come at a price. When I started my blog four years ago, I never thought I’d be able to get to know actual authors, or become a part of the YA community. Suddenly I got to know the ins and outs of writing a novel and become friends with people who wrote every day. And then the pressure set in.

It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people when they seem to be writing ALL THE WORDS or getting great book deals. I have a habit of crumpling at 2,000 words and giving up, and it’s hard to push through this and to not give up. I know that I’ll never reach my dream of publishing a book if I don’t finish that book, but sometimes that feeling can become so overwhelming that you feel as if you have to give up whilst you’re ahead.

It is, however, also possible to see a way out. I have to remind myself that I write for me and no one else. Writing poetry has helped immensely with this because I have no urges to share the poems that I write, no feeling that I need to share the stuff I’ve written to prove myself in some way. I know that some of my poetry is utter rubbish, but I also feel satisfied that at some point it helped me and allowed me to express myself. Poetry is my light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s hard not to succumb to the pressures of writing, but it’s also possible not to. I’m starting to believe in my writing and believe in myself. I can do this, and so can you.

Do you feel pressured to write a certain way or pressured to write amazingly? How do you try to overcome this? Share your advice!