Monday, February 22, 2010


Its 8 p.m. on Sunday night, only hours before my blog entry deadline, and I’ve done it again. I want to kick myself every time I procrastinate on writing, and think if I would’ve just worked on it earlier…
But earlier nothing comes to my mind to write about. It’s not until I’m under pressure that I can focus much clearer and find the words I want to use. For example, the first novel I wrote took me a year and a half to write. The first year and three months I wrote a total of three chapters, over and over again. In the last three months of writing that novel, I wrote the other twenty-three chapters.
I’m sure this method of writing would make many writers cringe. But for those others who are saying to themselves, “That’s me!”—there’s still hope. How do I know that? Because I Googled it.
The result I’ve found is that successful writers have completed novels in a short time span and have come out with best sellers. Karen Kingsbury wrote her novel Ever After (100,000 words) in four days. I don’t know how she even had time to brush her teeth while accomplishing that, but she must’ve had a massive surge of creative juices flowing day and night. And a very supportive family.
If you’re writing under pressure, whether you like it that way or have no other choice, consider this verse from Philippians 4:13 - “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Life doesn’t always allow for ample time to write, so make do with the time you have. And have the guts to get it done. I like what Ernest Hemingway once quoted about having guts. He said, “By “guts” I mean grace under pressure.”

Marjorie DeVries


  1. Marjorie: Great post. I envy those who can work under pressure. Me, I thrive when I'm ahead on things and I know I'm being productive. Under pressure---I just fall apart and go spastic. :)

  2. For some writers, LOTS of prewriting is done in the mind, both consciously and subconsciously. For others, it all has to be on paper. I expect you're mostly one of the former. FYC (for your comfort), one of my favorite mottos in my office is -- "If it weren't for the last minute, a lot of things wouldn't get done!" What do you think the word DEADLINE comes from?? :-) I suggest you don't berate what you call your "procrastination." Instead, think of it as your style gift. . . :-)

  3. Marjorie- you are definitely not alone. I can "mean to" get around to writing and think on it for some time. Not until it is just about due will I truly buckle down. That is when the best thoughts seem to come pouring out. My hat is off though to writers who can plan ahead!

  4. I do the same thing fairly often. Thankfully I work pretty well under pressure. I just prefer it when I allow more time! Thanks for sharing:)

  5. Twenty-three chapters in three months? Wowsers. I'm more a Crockpot type of writer. I need to let words simmer together for a while before I edit and re-write.

  6. I agree that for some people the prewriting is done mentally. For me, it depends. Sometimes the words just flow and sometimes I'm coaxing them out one drop of blood at a time.

  7. LOL, Margie, Karen Kingsbury has been writing 10,000 words a day for YEARS. She is the queen of writing fast and furious. And she does have a supportive family.

    I work better under deadlines, but they can't be self-imposed deadlines--they must be real for me or I can duck them because I'm not afraid of me. (Ha)

    But I am not too fond of being in a room with others as I come up with something to write. Ugh.

    Good post!