Stress Happens

February 24, 2010 · 0 comments

Kicking some iz-ass this week, dear reader.

I think.

I feel good right now because I just turned around a 400-word piece of copy in about an hour.  And it’s not too bad.  I’m getting faster, which is good.  Maybe not so, because I’m paid by the hour, but I think I’ll just focus on the silver lining of my sense of accomplishment.  Once upon a time, a little writing assignment like that would have taken me forever – I’d have procrastinated right up until the due date and then spent hours agonizing with my procrastination while I was actually writing.  It feels pretty good to bang out some copy without too much mental stress.

And check my work.  I’ve never really done that before.  I was a philosophy major in college, so I wrote a lot of papers – short ones, mostly, but I never actually went back over what I’d written.  Now I do.  A couple of times.  And I make changes, too.  Who’uldathunk?  I don’t know that I actually need an apostrophe in that word.  Hm.

Way-back-when, I was convinced (for whatever reason) that everyone did things this way:  that authors dashed off books by writing from start to finish.  Outlines?  Yeah, those are for the kids in the remedial classes who can’t keep what they want to say organized in their mind while they’re typing.  Pshaw.  True genius – specifically my true genius – was best expressed (hell, only expressed) in one shot.  Go back and make changes?  Hell no.  That would be corrupting the sanctity of the original work.

So yeah, I’ve changed a bit since then.  Besides the copywriting, I do a lot of writing for work.  I’m all about outlines and multiple drafts today.  Sometimes I even ask other people for comments or suggestions.  Parenthetically, though, I rarely incorporate them – old habits (e.g. extreme appreciation for one’s own staggering genius) tend to die hard.  Or at least, that’s what I’ve been told.

Seriously, though, outlines and multiple drafts over time are the way to go.  I try to avoid that eleventh-hour pressure as much as possible.  Stress happens, but I don’t need to be a cause of it for myself.

Possible forthcoming instant karma:

  • $5 says my client isn’t satisfied with my work product from tonight.

Caveat to the above (and an indication of hypocrisy):

  • I don’t make outlines or edit my blog posts.

Anyway, I’m gonna bounce.  I have a bunch of things on my plate for my day job – a couple of which just hit this evening.  Stress I didn’t cause.  And my right eye is still blurry, so staring at the computer screen all day has been giving me headaches.  I’m looking forward to the return of unobstructed vision.

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