Every writer knows what it’s like to be ‘in the flow’. You sit down, your fingers moving across the keyboard, finding your rhythm. Thoughts and ideas are popping into your mind all over the place. It’s a great feeling.
Now if only every single day was like that!
When I first started writing as a hobby there were times I just didn’t feel like writing. As a hobby that was fine, I could just give up for the day and do something else.
Writing full time means I need to write every day. I need to write a LOT every day.
What are some situations where you won’t feel like writing? Bear in mind, these tips don’t just refer to writing, they can also relate to working in general.
For me, this one is the hardest. I openly admit when I get sick, I turn into a big cream puff. When I was writing the post Know Your Own Strength, I identified straight away this was not one of mine.
In a nutshell, I am a terrible patient. I fall into a screaming heap when I get sick.
There will be some days, due to illness, that you won’t be able to work. Best you put yourself back in bed to rest and recover.
This actually applies double to anyone that works in an office. While you might think you are doing your co-workers a favour by dragging yourself in, you are more likely making them sick. I have experienced firsthand, illness spread like a bush fire through a group of people who work closely together.
If you work from home and you can squeeze a few hours of work in when you are not feeling well, then go for it. Work on the projects that have priority deadlines.
Since I am still fairly new to freelancing, I have a lot to learn about how to handle my workload when I am sick. (If any experienced freelancers can shed some light on this subject, it would be greatly appreciated).
It can be hard to concentrate on your work when you are worrying or troubled about something in your personal life. Heartache can make concentrating on anything, except how miserable you feel, extremely difficult.
Oddly enough, writers might have an advantage here.
Journaling can be a great way to relieve stress and get all of those feelings, pain and anger out on the page. Pour all of your thoughts out onto paper or your laptop screen, put them aside and then get on with the task at hand. Compartmentalize your problems by using your journal as an outlet.
Obviously this won’t work for some of life’s big problems (I am sure I don’t need to make a list of those, we have all probably lived through them one way or another) but it may help in some instances.
Writing your feelings down can be a great form of therapy.
You see a lot about writer’s block around the Internet. If you work full time as a writer, you just can’t get writers block. There is no such thing.
Electricians don’t get electrician’s block, accountants don’t suffer from blocks either.
The truth is all professions have to work on things they don’t like, aren’t interested in or find downright boring at times. If that is a description of your entire job, then you might have to rethink your career choice, but otherwise there are parts of every job (even the dream ones) that might suck a little.
If you need a break from working on the same piece of work and you don’t have a deadline looming, try working on something else, preferably a writing task with a completely different style or subject.
The one thing to watch with this is not to jump around on too many different projects. I tend to do this on the days I am feeling distracted or unsettled. You end up getting nothing finished – a prospect you want to avoid.
This one can be the most complex. If I was a doctor, I might understand it better.
Let’s face it, some days we just don’t feel like working. Even in the jobs we love. For whatever reason, we have no energy or motivation – our get up and go, has completely gone and we have no clue where it went or when it’s coming back.
This can be the hardest time to motivate yourself. My best advice (and I am still trying to work this one out myself) is to find a task that will inspire and energise you. Something that will give you back your spark; something to sink your teeth into. If you can find something fun to work on, that’s even better.
What it’s all about….
The Joy of Finishing
Whether you are writing a website article or working on an complex spreadsheet, keep in mind that joyous moment when you get the job done. When you finish the task and you are happy with the result.
The great feeling you get when you send your project out into the world, knowing you have done your best. That is what keeps us all going.
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