Monday, July 24, 2017

When Under Pressure

The two Patricia's here! Patricia B (that's me) knows you're not supposed to put an apostrophe after our names, but really? It looks so odd without it. 

If I sound a little stressed, it could be because I'm under deadline. Two of them. I don't know how people with more than two live, but I've heard it happens more often than I realize. 

And lately, I haven't seen much daylight. A friend complained about the ninety-nine-degree weather yesterday and I had no idea. My dungeon is a cool seventy-five degrees.

To top it off, I've gained five pounds even though I spend an hour at the gym five days a week. But that hour doesn't make up for the other eight to nine hours sitting at a computer.

And don't get me started on turning down friends when they call and ask me to meet them for lunch. That is if they could get through. Lately, I've been disconnecting my phones and shutting down the internet. 

So if it's so hard, why do I do it? I get asked that a lot because I could retire and live a life of leisure. I even have friends who ask why I tie myself to a computer like I do when I could be traveling or lying on the sofa reading and eating bonbons. 


Because I can't not. If that makes any sense. Even when getting the story on paper is like pulling a mule's tooth, I love it. I don't want to do anything else. Not even the sofa deal. And can't you just see how much weight that would add? 

Gotta go! The story won't write itself.



Patricia Johns



When I'm on deadline, I lose friends. Or I would, if they were less understanding. I tend to disappear for long periods of time, cancel plans on people when I'm not done as quickly as I thought I'd be, and generally ignore the outside world. 

When I go to the library to work, I put my head down and speed walk to the back where there is a quiet area to set up my computer so that I don't stop to chat with people I know. (I live in a pretty small place!) And I'm always rather worried that I'm offending people because when someone literally runs away from you, it can seem a little rude, no? 

So when I'm on deadline, I post broad apologies on Facebook saying things like, "I'm working on a manuscript, so please forgive me for hiding under a rock." 

And I'm currently on deadline... under my rock. 

So, Heartwarming readers, what do you do when you're under pressure, or deadline?

24 comments:

  1. Cute post, ladies! I work best under a deadline, but I do feel as though I'm ignoring family and friends...which is tough.

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    1. I work best under deadlines, too, Jill. But I do get ill occasionally. lol

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  2. A great post. Like Jill, I work better when I'm on deadline, but every now and then panic mode sets in and it can get a little ugly!

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  3. I have the perfect solution for you, Patricia and Patricia.

    Adopt a couple of rescue dogs!! They will get you out of your writing cave on a regular basis (and keep you from putting on those pounds, Patricia B.!). Going for long, leisurely walks with your pups provides terrific plotting time, and I can't think of a better stress-reliever than a couple of cuddly, unconditionally-loving pups.

    In my case, Harley and Logan also serve as a wonderful critique team. They are always eager to help, I can bounce the craziest plot twists off of them, they always listen intently and never criticize.

    Just a suggestion! :)

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    1. Love your suggestion and will take it under advisement, Kate!

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    2. I forgot to add, my rescue kitty, Suzy, might have an objection, though.

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    3. ...or she might thank you for the company! ;)

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  4. I'm under deadline too and starting to panic because I'm leaving for Nationals tomorrow. I'm going to have to hide and type A LOT when I'm there, which is tough because I also have workshops I want to go to, events and, of course, friends I want to hang out with (I only get to once a year!). At home, I have to ignore everyone as much as I can, but with 3 kids, hubby, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 24 chickens, 3 geese and 6 ducks...it's kind of hard. Good luck with your deadlines!

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    1. Rula, I feel your pain! There is no way I could go to a conference and work. I've thought I could once, but quickly learned it ain't happening! :-)

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  5. It's comforting to read about deadline angst in fellow writers because so much of our work seems to be done in isolation that we forget others are experiencing the same stress. Although I work in a more disciplined mode under deadline, it's not without serious consequences....too much candy-eating or insomnia! Thanks for letting us know we're not alone and good luck with the deadlines, Patricias! (Yes, it does look weird and I had to fight auto-correct to write it!)

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    1. Yes, I think misery loves company, Janice. :-) Seriously, I am so happy to have deadlines, I feel guilty complaining.

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  6. I agree with Kate. A good walk clears the mind and gets me going. Its also good exercise. smile Hang in there.

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    1. I have to have foot surgery before I can do any serious walking--it's one reason for the weight gain. I'm limited to Pilates and water aerobics and swimming which all take more time than plain walking. So, that's why my exercise routine gets lost in the shuffle sometimes.

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  7. I also work best under deadline, which isn't very convenient with two small children :) When I'm feeling the deadline pressure, I take them to the gym childcare and go for a long walk/run and then take a long shower. That will solve some pretty big brainstorming/plot issues and ease the stress :)

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    1. That sounds like a great solution, Laurie. I should have one deadline met this week. And that will take pressure off...unless I get interrupted. lol

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  8. Friends understand. Most who don't understand secretly envy you being writers. I'm sure of it. With more and more people working from home, our predicaments should become easier to understand. And everyone will be happier when they have copies of your books in hand. Yes???

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    1. I've actually had people to tell me to suck it up and get back to work--they're tired of waiting for the next story. lol That's the ones I listen to.

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  9. When I'm under deadline, I still start my day by checking in with the Heartwarming blog, scanning my emails to make sure there's nothing have to respond to immediately and then tuck into it. So hard when the skies are sunny and the saskatoons are ripening!

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    1. I've never had a saskatoon, M.K. You'll have to describe it. But it is easier to stay inside on days like this when the temps hover above 95 and the humidity even higher. Now, if I can just turn off the internet and leave it off.

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  10. I haven't been there yet, but I'm sure the day is coming. Meanwhile, I'm trying to train my family that if I'm typing away, they don't need to interupt my flow to share every thought that crosses their minds. Otherwise, I'll have to see if my library branch has one of those quiet rooms.

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    1. Absolutely, Beth! I live alone and have no idea what I would do if I had family always interrupting. My cat is bad enough. Right now she's sitting on the back of my chair and I have a Zoom video to do in a few minutes. She will not be happy when I put her outside my office and close the door. lol

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  11. What is the name of the pic of dogs and rabbit and who is the artist? What is a Saskatoon? Good luck writing!

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  12. I'm wondering what a saskatoon is too! And I'm not sure about the painting of the rabbit and dogs. Maybe Patricia J. will chime in and tell us about it!

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