If you’re a freelance writer, I’ll bet there are times that you dread plopping down in front of the keyboard. I know that for myself there are times when I feel like the danged computer is sitting at the writing desk just mocking me. Daring me to come over. When you spend all of your time writing for someone else, it’s easy to fall into the trap of hating to write. Let’s look at how to change that.
Writing For Yourself
I’m thinking that you probably didn’t start your freelance writing career with no writing under your belt. Maybe you wrote stories for fun. Maybe you kept a journal to keep your head on straight. The point is, you were a writer before you were a freelance writer. How do you get back to those heady days of writing for yourself, for pleasure?
First, this idea of writing for yourself is critical for longevity in the field. Writing long-tailed keyword articles for days on end will burn you up and burn you out. Your mind needs a break. It’s almost impossible to keep up the crazy freelance writing pace that pays the bills if you don’t break the routine now and then.
Writing for yourself is a reward in and of itself. Consider the unbridled bliss when you take an afternoon off, head to a favorite spot with the laptop (or notepad) and spend a few hours crafting a story. Turn off the iPhone, leave your email program closed and just immerse yourself in the pleasure of doing what you love to do, for no one other than you. The story may be crap. It may never see the light of day, but I guarantee you’ll have fun doing it.
An unintended consequence of writing for yourself is that you will become a better freelance writer by doing so. Working your creative muscle opens new channels and spawns new ideas. It’s the equivalent of a high colonic for your head. I find that when I take a bit of time and do some writing for myself, my paid writing comes easier and is a lot more fresh and engaging.
If possible, you should try and do a bit of writing for yourself each day. It doesn’t have to be a story or a chapter of your novel. Writing for yourself can be as simple as jotting down a few lines in a journal. Sometimes I’ll write a book review over at Amazon when I’m feeling the need to write for myself. Bringing back memories of a good read puts me in a proper writing mood.
I think that the writing you do for yourself in this vein needs to be unstructured with no rules or limits applied. Rules and limits imply pressure and writing for yourself is about release, not pressure. I know it can be hard to do, but when writing for yourself you should consider throwing the rule book out. Just have fun with it. If, at the end of your writing session you are completely embarrassed by what you wrote there is always the delete key.