Saturday, June 1, 2013

Under Pressure

If I  got that bassline from Queen's song stuck in your head, I'm sorry.  It's a great song, but not what my post is about.

Actually, this has to do with high school, where I learned just what level of pressure I can handle, and why I like it.

In freshman year, I was in really basic classes.  They weren't much of a challenge, and I started putting my work off till the last minute.  Rather than fall behind, my grades jumped.  It was stressful, but nothing I couldn't handle.  I loved leaving a six week essay project till the last weekend.  Cramming for tests was the only way I was able to get an A, because if I started studying too early, I lost interest and gave up.  For me, the first year of high school was a breeze.

Then in my sophomore year, I signed up for a bunch of honors classes, thinking it would help me down the road.  It was harder, I found, to wait till the last minute.  I began developing studying habits--gasp!--and started my research projects long before they were due.  I had to juggle assignments, and it started to wear on me.

For some reason, I didn't catch on that taking a bunch of challenging classes was probably not for me.  Junior year I moved to my umteenth school, 1,200 miles away from all my friends.  Either madness or homesickness (or both) pushed me to take too many AP classes, two of which were math, the bane of my high school experience.

Big mistake.  In 11th grade, I broke.

I failed one of my math classes, barely skirted by in Physics, and by the end of the year, hated even my most beloved subjects, English and History.  I also had to face a depressing summer break in summer school to make up those math credits I'd lost.

The next year, I pulled out of every one of the AP classes I'd signed up for.  I prioritized, I figured out what was important to me.  Getting decent grades ranked at the top.  Not wanting to crawl under my bed and hide from the world was up there, too.  So Senior year, I struck a balance.  I figured out what could wait a little longer--what could be put off without sacrificing a grade--and what needed my attention right away.  It's a lesson I'm grateful to have learned before I hit adulthood.

Flash forward a decade and I'm still making compromises.  Writing is one of those things I enjoy.  A challenge each day, to see if I can juggle my needs and wants.  I want to lock myself in my bedroom and write for hours on end.  I need to feed and dress my children.  Some days I can handle both and retain my sanity.  Some days I can't.  This week, writing is out.  Next week's not looking so hot, either.  I think it's probably safe to say until this baby comes, the most typing I do each week will be contributed to this blog.  And since it's 8 pm on the night my post is due, I'd say I'm still not totally cured of procrastination.

Okay, I tried, but I can't resist.  Here's the video to Queen's Under Pressure.  Keep up the hard work, Proser, and don't let the pressure get to you this week.


  1. Oh Trisha--what a topic. I, too must consider others before I can consider my writing. My eleven year old tells me I have turned into a grump. I'm afraid I would have to agree. We do what we do, when we can, and the rest of the time, we try to remember what's really important in life.
    Good luck in your third trimester, Mama.
    ~Just Jill

  2. Aw, man, I feel you on this Trisha. There are entire weeks, sometimes more than one strung together, when writing is just not going to happen. I try to use that frustration to give me something to look forward to when my kids are a little older (okay a lot older - when does this get easier, exactly?) because the flip side is that I get very sad at how quickly they are growing up, and I don't want to look back and realize I spent these years always angry that I couldn't fit in more of my own goals, or always trying to sneak away for me time. It's really hard to find the right balance, though, because we all need a little "me time". :)

  3. Exactly. The only thing I can do is hope that someday it won't take quite so long to slip on my "writer hat" because if I could just jump into writing I could get so much more written! Because Sarah--I'm sorry to say that my youngest is 8, and you'd think I would be able to get a lot more written than I do.

    And is it bad that the bassline of that song makes me sing "Ice, ice baby"...I'd never heard this song before. :)

    1. Ack! Queen and David Bowie! Actually, Vanilla Ice use the bassline, Queen took him to court, won, and rather than pay royalties, Vanilla Ice bought the rights to the sound. So it makes sense that you think of Ice Ice Baby.

  4. I loved the under pressure cover they did on the finale of Smash.

    I feel that pressure, more than ever now that I've published Funny Tragic Crazy Magic. People keep asking me to write the sequel, and I'm like...I want to read to my children, and watch netflix, and live my own life. I think it's all about making choices, and prioritize, and taking control of your own life.

    One day.

    1. Not to cause you any pressure Sheena, but as much as I want a sequel to FTCM, you'd better not start quite yet. :)


Got an opinion? Use it! Remember... be silly, be honest, and be nice/proofread.