Monday, November 2, 2009


I am in the middle of my new WIP and feeling extremely stressed. This work is by far my best, and I want to finish it. I feel like I've finally found my voice, and I just want to let it flow, but my day job is getting in the way.

I cannot afford to quit my day job, or worse, lose it, so of course all of my effort has to go to getting things done at work, and that has been my focus for quite a while.

As most of you probably know, my day job is as a software engineering manager. I lead a group of engineers writing tools for a new chip. We have a huge opportunity in the short term if we can showcase our capabilities to a massive semiconductor company.

I've been pushing the guys really hard to meet the schedule, and I am starting to see some signs of burnout. This is the worst possible time, because our deadline is approaching.

My boss meanwhile, has been relentless in hammering on us to meet the schedule. Since we are a small startup, it really is a make or break effort.

As I'm writing this on Friday afternoon, I'm looking forward to the weekend, to at least a few hours of uninterrupted writing, but we'll see. The weekend presents it's own set of family challenges.

I really feel that this work is going to be the one that I finally break through with, and I think that's what is stressing me the most. I want to finish it.

Given the current market conditions, it's probably just as well that it isn't done today, but I want to make sure that I'm ready when things finally turn the corner.

Any of you feeling stressed to finish your latest WIP these days? How do you cope with it?


  1. I no longer stress about finishing my WiPs!

    Why? Well . . . the publishing industry is currently in chaos. The economy, while improving, is still in a bit of chaos. People just aren't buying books right now, agents are being a bit more picky, and the publishing industry as a whole seems to be taking a step back to consider things.

    So, why should I rush? Why not grab ahold of that elusive entity known as patience and take my time?

    That's exactly what I have been doing. I still have the dream of being published. I will be published. I will hone my craft and create the best possible manuscript I can.

    So, take a deep breath, and give your writing the thing it deserves the most - patience. You'll finish your WiP when you finish. There's no rush. Yes, there's the driving need in every writer to finish and get published. But . . . patience, patience, patience. The industry is in flux right now. Why not take advantage of this time of uncertainty to really, really make this WiP the best thing you ever did . . . by taking it slowly, one step at a time!

    Best of luck.


  2. Sounds like you have two good things going: the wip and a good business opportunity. Sounds like there is going to be a focus on the business opportunity first and then more time for writing later.

    If you are not sick (like me) just be glad your brain and body is still working. Everything in it's time, right?

  3. Writing is what I do to de-stress.

    If it's not fun, you're doing it wrong. Slow down!

    This pithy advice was brought to you by Anthony, The Hack Writer. No need to thank me, that's just the kind of guy that I am.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys. I wrote that post last week, and did get a bunch of words written over the weekend, so I'm a little better now.

    I agree with "the market sucks, so why finish it now" statement. That is so true.

    I just want to be ready to go when it things come back. I also agree that any turnaround is not coming anytime soon. Although, with the recent success of many e-book readers, you never know.

  5. Just a few ideas to help with the work stress. If you can ease that even a bit, you'll be more awake to the page and the WIP will be even better.
    I work at a place where out of the blue, my boss's boss will hand out special treats. Once he tossed bubble gum over the cubical walls. Another time he went out and bought some nicer gel pens when he handed them to us, he told us how much he appreciated our hard work. Small, tiny things to do, but I would walk a mine field for that man.

  6. I commend you in your efforts. I too recently found my voice, or rather I discovered how to use it. This comes following several years of dreaming about having my own book, and now that it is finally started, I find I don't have enough time to write it out.

    Still, I am happy. I have a unique and personal story to tell. It is all there inside of me. Only the minor details remain for me to flesh out as I write.

    It is so exciting. I get this sense of self importance I was lacking before. Coming here to this blog recently, it motivates me even more. The posts have given me ideas and insights I never before considered.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keep up the good work.


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