18.11.08

Under Pressure

Firstly, why do I get lambasted any time I say I love Under Pressure by Bowie and Queen? I know it’s not their best work but it’s still a frickin’ good song. Yes, that beat is responsible for the travesty that is Ice Ice Baby* but it’s so infectious, it has to be genius.

Anyway, back on topic… Contrary to the post title, I’m not actually under pressure of any sort, which is kind of the problem. You see, I need pressure to get things done. I never used to be like this. I used to be the kind of person that did things that needed to be done as soon as humanly possible. I used to pay bills as soon as they came in or put in a load of washing as soon as I had a drum’s worth or submit my columns a week before they were due for print or buy a winter coat in the Autumn. Now I’ll almost freeze my arse off before draggiing it to the shops.

I think I know when this change came about. I spent 2007 at Asian Woman Magazine and the experience changed me. It was so intense, so full on, so 100% 24/7, so unbelievably demanding, I felt like I was spending every second of my life fire fighting while juggling a million different things. Now take that description and times it by ten and you’ll get a rough idea of what it was like. It was as traumatic as it was exciting, and it taught me the real meaning of working under pressure. 

After leaving (as much for my health as for my sanity), everything calmed down to the point where I felt like I was living in slow motion. After that kind of existence, “normal” life seems stripped of adrenaline – bland and sort of tasteless. It took me a long time to come down from the highs of that type of life. One of the things I haven’t got back, however, is the ability to pace myself. Now I need pressure to be able to work so I leave everything until the last minute. I spend days procrastinating, knowing that deadlines are looming but I wait and do nothing until the axe begins swinging over my head. It’s a terrible way to work but I haven’t managed to snap out of it.

The reason why I bring this up is because I have six months to finally get the second book wrapped up. Six months isn’t actually a lot of time for most authors but to me, it seems like an eternity. And that worries me. I don’t want to suddenly snap into action in May 2009 and find that a month isn’t enough to perfect the book. I want to work on it today and tomorrow and every day, and polish it to the point of perfection. Instead, I find myself procrastinating. 

I’m going to try and stop being this flake I don’t recognise. I’m going to try and go back to the person who was organised, stable and knew exactly where she was going and what time she was getting there (though I don’t know if I’ll recognise her since she never spoke in the twattish third person).

I’ll buy my winter coat and take it from there.

Kia

* I actually also think Ice Ice Baby is a good song but admitting that kinda dilutes my opinion about Under Pressure… and makes me look like a bit of a troglodyte.

10 comments:

  1. Get to it damnit! You don't want to leave it to the last minute and then wonder if the extra time might have lead to a best seller....

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  2. Hey, I recommend this:

    http://lab.drwicked.com/writeordie.html

    ;)

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  3. I love Under Pressure, one of my favourite Queen songs. If it's any consolation I went winter coat shopping two days ago, and it snowed yesterday, so I barely made the deadline.

    G'luck with the book, and I concur get to it soon. Maybe you would be able to do a book tour in North America :D.

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  4. Stop! Collaborate and listen.

    I agree with Josh.

    Word to ya mutha.

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  5. > Josh
    I know, I know... Yes, I've got a nice plot twist and something to make the reader think and a revelation from the blue, etc.

    > Ak
    Hey! I didn't know you blogged. Will check out your blogs. The tool looks good but unfortunately, I'm editing rather than writing (I hate editing).

    > Zany
    I don't even want to think about how cold Canadian winters get. I'm moany enough about the weather we're getting here! While we're talking about Canada, are Tim Horton donuts really that great? Even better than Krispy Kreme?

    > Ariane
    Believe it or not, Ice Ice Baby is usually my karaoke choice since it doesn't actually involve any singing. My mutha says 'word' back.

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  6. OMG, you know about Tim Hortons?!! Is that the only thing Canada is famous of :S?

    As far as the donut question is concerned..hmmm...you've clearly put me in a conundrum...hmmm...
    I think Tim's Chocolate Dip donut is way better than anything Krispy Kreme has to offer.

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  7. I feel under pressure when I listen to Under Pressure.

    If it ain't a best seller I ain't buying it sister! :)

    Hey, let nobody knock Ice Ice Baby, I grew up with it.

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  8. Six months? Mine took six years!

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  9. > Zany
    Even the maple krispy kreme?
    *salivates*

    > Muhamad
    Like I said, I actually think it's a very good song in its own right.

    > The Dotterel
    Are we talking continuous writing here or on and off? Coz if we're doing the on-and-off thing, then mine has taken a good few years. If, however, we're talking actual writing time, I'm afraid to say it's far less...

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  10. I have never tried maple Krispy Kreme. Over here when we feel like indulging ourselves with a donut we just hit a Tim Horton's. In Ontario, the province where I'm from, there is a Tim's in every street corner.
    They even have a big Tim Horton's in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where the Canadian Forces are stationed. So that's how much we love our Timmy's.

    ReplyDelete