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Freelance Writers: Here are 3 Easy Strategies for Curing Writer’s Block (Powerful Bonus at the End)
Written by Freelance Writer and Author, William Ballard
Have you ever sat at your computer ready to get to work writing, but have found that the words just don’t seem to be flowing as you had hoped?
Most freelance writers will experience writer’s block at one point or another over the course of their career, and many will experience writer’s block on a more regular basis. Now, I must make it clear, I personally do not believe in “writer’s block”, per say. No. Instead, I believe in “writer’s burnout”, and in this blog post, we are going to talk about how to overcome this hurdle.
(Stick with me to end of this post and I will be delivering a very powerful bit of wisdom that will cure all of your writer’s block (or writer’s burnout) for good!)
The movies and TV shows have glamourized writer’s block (or what I call writer’s burnout) to be a weeks-long or even months-long inability to write. In some cases, freelance writers truly do have such a bad case of writer’s block (writer’s burnout) that they dislike anything they produce for that length of time. However, in most cases, writer’s block is just a few hours or days in length, and it may be far less severe. The fact is, though, that even a mild case of writer’s block can result in a loss of income for a freelance writer. The stress associated with that loss of income can compound the writer’s dilemma. There are, however, fast and easy ways to cure writer’s burnout.
Clear Your Head
Frist, get up and away from the computer. Staring at a blank computer screen only serves to create stress, frustration, and anxiety. It will not boost any of your creative juices. For some freelance writers, something as simple as sitting on a quiet porch for a few minutes while drinking a cup of coffee, or taking a shower will get the creative juices flowing again. While other freelance writers may benefit from taking an extended break, the fact is that many only need to take a few minutes away from their computer to clear their minds.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Second, if you have spent the last few hours staring at a computer screen barely moving, your body may be in severe need of some physical activity. You can take your precious pup for a walk around the park, ride your bike around your neighborhood, or do a few stretches. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get your blood circulating and oxygen flowing to your brain. Find an enjoyable activity that you like, and take a few minutes away from your computer to get some exercise. When you return to your computer, you will likely have some great ideas flowing through your head and will be able to focus and concentrate more fully on your writing.
Have a Snack
Third, another reason why your creative juices may have stagnated is because of lack of food. If you are like many other freelance writers, you spend a considerable amount of time sipping on coffee or tea while you work, but you don’t fully nourish your body as needed. You may have noticed that your energy level and concentration level decreases substantially within a few hours after you eaten breakfast, and this is why by the time lunch comes around, you are less focused and more drained than when you first sat at your computer.
You can take a lunch break or mid-afternoon snack break to fuel up. If you notice that you repeatedly struggle with writer’s burnout around the same time each day, consider treating yourself to a quick snack before you reach that point.
Writer’s block (or burnout) is indeed a real issue that freelance writer’s struggle with, and you may have plenty of first-hand experience with it and know how serious it can be. The next time you feel writer’s block coming on; follow one or several of these strategies to cure your burnout.
Bonus: Words of Wisdom
Now, as promised, I told you at the beginning of this blog post that I was going to be sharing with you a very powerful bit of wisdom that will help cure your writer’s block (or burnout) once and for all.
I have actually written about this subject quite in-depth in my book entitled, “The True Writer’s Life: Discovering the Author and Finisher of Our Faith”.
I am sure many of you have heard writers talk about their “muse”, and some have probably made statements such as, “their ‘muse’ is silent today”. However, I personally do not believe that this is even possible because this “muse”, or what I like to call the “Spirit of Writing” is everywhere.
It is physically impossible for “it” to be silent because the Spirit of Writing is all around us. Just looking up at the stars SCREAMS with new ideas. Taking a moment to lie down on the grass and look up at the clouds and then letting your mind run wild while it turns those clouds into different types of shapes is the “Spirit of Writing” that is taking over the creative side of the brain. More often than not, we as freelance writers come to our computers (or to our pen and paper) with the editor hat on first before coming to our work with the creative hat on.
This is backwards. We must first approach our writing with the creative hat and then once we have all of our creative ideas on paper, then, and only then, should we come to our work with the editor hat on.
I mentioned in my book that research clearly shows that on average, human beings speak 10,000 to 20,000 words a day. Yes, I said 20,000! That is nearly a full book right there. This means that only 20,000 words of creative genius is what our passion tank can hold. Where are you “leaking” gas? Are you sharing those brilliant creative nuggets of pure gold in places where they are not appreciated?
You may have the passion to start or to continue with your writing project but you may be lacking the creative fuel to do so. The problem may be more like a writer’s burnout (as I stated earlier), which is like a car trying to drive 20,000 miles without any gas. It just will not happen! The way to fix this problem is to fill the car (the writer) back up with gas (creativity).
Discussion Question: How do we fuel ourselves with creativity? Please answer by sharing your thoughts in the comments below.
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About the Author
William Ballard is the author of, “My List of 21 Things You Need to Know About Self-Publishing” and "3 Steps to Blogging Success: Discovering Your Passion, Finding Your Audience, and Developing an Income Stream (Article Series)".
He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and has much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.