After immersing myself in background materials, scribbling notes and coaxing ideas from my bursting brain, it’s time to put paper to pen. Or open that blank Word document. That’s when I get the surge of adrenaline. After looping a path through my limbs, it settles as a flutter in my stomach.
I refer to this as stage fright.
It could be my background in theatre. I always felt that surge before performing on stage and, even more so, as the lights rose on a production I directed. While the extra adrenaline couldn’t help me as a director, watching from the audience, it certainly gave me an edge as a performer.
While I don’t get this surge when writing personal essays, I certainly get it when I’m submitting them. I check and re-check email addresses, names, titles and my pitch. However, it’s mostly when I’m writing copy for clients that I experience this “stage fright.” And I’m torn on whether it gives me an edge as a copywriter.
I do know that it’s a sign of wanting to write creative, inspired work that will put smiles on my clients’ faces. And I know that it’s an indicator that I’m in performance mode. Thankfully, it doesn’t last the entire time I’m drafting copy. It’s usually at the beginning of a project for a first-time client or at the start of an especially juicy, challenging assignment.
But I also worry that it could be a sign of nervousness that could spill into the copy. Or, since I don’t need the extra energy to physically perform, I’m putting unnecessary stress on my body.
So I’m torn.
Do you experience anything akin to stage fright when you’re writing? Does it occur when you’re working on particular types of assignments, such as a first piece for a magazine? Or, do you think this type of adrenaline is unnecessary, and possibly a distraction from producing good work?