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Pressure Monster – by Kitty Bucholtz

August 9, 2018 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , ,

If you read my June post, you know I’ve been struggling with burnout, and now also struggling to understand what it is and how to overcome it. In July, I talked about one of my favorite topics – hitting the Restart button. That seemed a timely topic in the middle of the year and in the middle of the burnout problem.

Today I did some freewriting first thing in the morning to ask myself some questions. Mostly, and specifically, what do I like to write?

I was listening to Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck in one of their free classes, I think the Dream Killers episode, and Rachel said you have to know what you like to write. Or what you like to write about. If you like writing blogs and articles and short stories, but hate writing 50,000-word novels, don’t write novels! If you love writing 100,000-word epic fantasy books but hate writing blogs, don’t write blogs!

And it made me wonder if the reason I rarely post to my blog is because I don’t actually like blogging, or if it’s something else. Maybe I don’t like having to create a super interesting and helpful piece for others that doesn’t resonate for me when I write it. (That would be weird if it were true because I love helping people!) Maybe I need to write blog posts that are more for me, things I find more interesting despite whether I think others will also find it interesting.

That may be part of it, but I really think it’s more the pressure I put on myself – create an interesting post that readers will love, or don’t bother writing anything at all. No wonder I’ve gotten it into my head that I don’t like blogging.

Funny, this is a very similar problem to the bigger one over the last several months when I was trying to decide if I still liked to write books. Then I went to RWA in July and I seemed to come alive during the writing sprints at the start and end of each day! I started writing on a book idea, Abra Cadaver, just for the fun of it with no idea when I would work it into my production schedule. I had a blast! And I wrote a ton! I already have an outline for a trilogy. 😀

So how can I find a similar burst of enthusiasm for blogging? Or how can I find out if I do or don’t enjoy blogging under the right circumstances? (And what are those magic circumstances?)

Are you struggling with not knowing if you even like to write? Blogs or books? In my mind, most writers are not struggling with this. This is my own personal problem that is a result of my own personal burnout. So my mind said this is a waste of time and energy and blogging space to even put it into words.

But what if I’m wrong and I’m not being self-centered and someone out there needs me to write this? Maybe you?

When I first woke up this morning, I read my Bible, Matthew 17. I was thinking about how interesting it was that Peter said, of course my master pays the temple tax, and then he walked back to where they were staying and before he could speak, Jesus brought up the subject in a roundabout way. But it’s Peter’s walk back that I was focused on.

What was Peter thinking? Was he thinking that he’d spoken too quickly again? Was he wondering if he was right, or maybe he’d answered the priest incorrectly? Was he trying to convince himself of one way of thinking or another? Was he building an argument to convince Jesus of a particular way of thinking?

And then Jesus not only asks him a question that directly gives Peter the answer to the question before Peter can even tell Jesus what happened, but we find out God is already providing for the physical need as well. Go fish, Jesus says, and in the first fish will be money enough to pay for your tax and mine.

Whoa.

I usually read that part and think, gross, gutting a fish would be so gross to me. But today I read it and thought, hey, that’s like God telling me to go write something or create a new set of ads for my books and the money that would come in would be the exact amount for some need I have.

That I could do!

This blog post is already too long, too long-winded, too personal, and I’m still not sure if I should post it because someone might find it helpful, or if I should relegate it to the private journaling area, forever hidden. (Burnout apparently brings out all my insecurities!)

See? It’s the pressure to create the perfect post, the one that is helpful, the right length, with content doesn’t annoy anyone if they don’t fit in the target audience.

The Pressure Monster is telling me to stop, don’t post this, don’t even write blog posts anymore. (Even though I have three blogs! All neglected, but important to me.) Heck, the Pressure Monster says, it would be far safer for you and far better for everyone else if you just stopped writing altogether.

I’m posting this anyway. Without taking time to find the perfect pictures to post with it, or try to create SEO-worthy subheadings. It’s my way to defeat the monster.

What is the Pressure Monster attacking you about? What are you not writing or not doing because the pressure to do it “right” is too much? Maybe some of it doesn’t need to be done or written at all! Maybe you’ll decide some of it is important enough to do even if you don’t do it “perfectly” this time.

Either choice can be a good one, so choose! I hope this post helps you defeat the Pressure Monster, too. 😀

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