Have you found yourself sitting down to write, but the right words just don’t materialize? Does the very idea of writing cause you stress or anxiety?
This feeling is not alien to many writers. In fact, every writer, at some point, has experienced this. Writer’s block.
Writer’s block is the excruciating feeling of being unmotivated to write, and being unable to turn your thoughts into words. For some reason, you just can’t make the words come out, and when they do, they don’t feel right.
No one is immune to it – and it happens to even the most renowned and celebrated writers there are. Whether you’re a novelist, a poet, a copywriter or a blogger; writer’s block can get to you.
When you are a freelancer, however, it can feel even more difficult to endure. Your selling point is writing, so to not be able to do it, can be incredibly frustrating.
But – there are ways that you can overcome it! Read on to find out some helpful tips for getting over writer’s block as a freelancer.
Don’t be a perfectionist.
When we are doing nothing, we are getting nowhere.
A lot of the time, you might not feel like writing when you don’t believe the content is a good enough standard. But if you let perfectionism stop you from writing, ultimately you will never write until something is perfect the first time around.
Try writing anything you can – good or bad, serious or stupid, sensical or non-sensical. Once you’ve started a flow, it’s easier to get into the swing of writing again.
Make an appointment with yourself to write – no matter how good you think it’s going to be. Once you’re done, destroy it or delete it. Don’t let the fear of perfection halt you from taking action.
Change your environment.
It’s difficult to write when you are not feeling inspired.
Whilst it’s good to have a dedicated spot or room to write in, it’s also important to change up your environment from time to time. Staring at the same view (or the same four walls) can hinder your creative flow. When we change our environment, we trick our brain into thinking of new ideas. Every time we surround ourselves with something different, we instantly open the roof of our creative boxes.
Go for a walk, take your laptop to the park, or maybe even try writing whilst you’re travelling.
Freelancing can often mean working alone – but that doesn’t mean you have to!
Sometimes you need to bounce ideas or source insights from other people, and that’s fine. Try talking to your friends, peers or family members about what it is you’re struggling to write about. Get their personal insights and collaborate creatively to help get the process working for you.
It’s also sometimes overwhelming when trying to write something that perfectly suits an audience you are unfamiliar with. Use your friend as your audience - and think about what you could write to target them specifically. When you know someone on a deeper level, it’s easier to procure writing that is suited to them.
Write for fun.
More often than not, we get writer’s block when we have a deadline hanging over our heads.
But writing is a creative skill - and sometimes when the fun is taken away we can lose our passion for it. It’s easier to let the creative juices flow when we are enjoying ourselves.
This is why it is important to still write for your own personal enjoyment, alongside the work you are doing for others.
When we write for fun, we spark the creative fire that all writers possess. Try writing about things that excite you, rather than the work you have to finish. Think of the thing that made you fall in love with writing in the first place, whether that’s fiction writing, poetry or blogging; then allow yourself to do pockets of that for fun.
Be strict with yourself.
When you are freelancing, you are essentially your own boss. But every boss has to be strict with their employees from time to time.
It’s easy to get frustrated with your output in a project when you are not fully concentrated on it. These days, everyone has instant access to something to distract them – whether it be through our phones or laptops, or just the environment we live in.
The Pomodoro Technique is a method whereby you allocate 25 minutes for straight-working, followed by a 10 to 15-minute break. During the working time turn your phone on silent, disconnect from the Wi-Fi and turn off the television. Set a timer for 25 minutes and see how your brain works when you know you’re working to a limited time constraint.
The reward of a break after will give you satisfaction, and help you to be more productive during the short bursts of time that you are concentrating on writing. As this goes on, you’ll find yourself becoming more motivated thanks to your consistent productivity.
Yes, writer’s block as a freelancer is incredibly frustrating, but there are ways for you to overcome it. Whether it’s by following any of the tips above, or just something simple like getting more sleep – it is possible to rediscover the motivation and drive to transpose your thoughts into words.
But most importantly; don’t be so hard on yourself. We all go through it, and we all come out the other side. Take a break, make sure to rest and remind yourself why you love writing in the first place. You won’t be blocked forever!
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