Most people get into the writing business because they love to write. In fact, they can’t imagine doing anything else. However, when you write for a living, you may sometimes feel as if you’re writing by rote and as if the joy of writing has completely evaporated. Almost every freelance writer that I know has experienced this at least once. It’s time to do something about it before the joy disappears completely. Here are some of the steps that I take.
Sometimes it helps to step away from the computer. When you spend most of every day there, it’s no surprise that you might feel a bit stale from time to time. I find exercise very helpful in clearing my brain, so I go for a walk or – if I really want to torture myself – take a spin class….
Reading has always been one of my favorite forms of relaxation. When you’re trying to refresh your ideas, the trick is to read something completely different. When I’m relaxing, I almost never read about mortgages or loans. Instead, I pick up a good biography or a trashy novel and lose myself in someone else’s life. It’s amazing how many good ideas you can get by doing that.
The best writing appeals to people. If you work at home, you may not meet many people, but you can still find out what they think. Watch some daytime TV or get out there and talk to your friends. When you distract your brain from the subject at hand, then there’s lots of room for ideas to flood in.
Write for fun. For me, this is one way of recharging my batteries. Instead of working on an ebook or an article about property, I can experiment with a short story or a poem. Turning my thoughts in a different direction can flick a mental switch and get the creative juices flowing again.
Take a challenge. There’s always a writing challenge going on urging you to talk about your successes, give writing tips, satirize a famous writer, write a piece of flash fiction or another form of writing. These give writers the chance to try something new. At worst, it makes a change. At best, writers will discover another form of writing that they love, and find the joy of writing again.
These are some of the steps that have worked for me. I do have off days, but I still love what I do. What works for you when you’re feeling burned out?