Why aren’t I getting gigs? Why am I caught in this niche I have grown to hate? Where’s my career going? There are a lot of reasons why a writer’s work suffers and some are so common most writers have or will experience them at some point. Do any of them ring a bell?
- You’re bored. There are times a writer needs to switch course or look for new ways to stay passionate about an familiar topic.
- You’ve gotten lazy. Let’s be honest, sometimes freelancers slack off and don’t feel like doing what they are supposed to do. I’ve been there and it’s tough to get back on task, but take a look at that electric bill – feel like writing now?
- You’re not reading enough. The more you write, the more money you make right? The more work you have can take away from the other things that make a writer great, like reading other great writers. It’s amazing the amount of inspiration one well written piece can provide another writer.
- You’ve got too much work. It sounds like a good problem to have, but in reality too many projects can take away from the time you have to devote to the perfection each project. The result? Sloppy or rushed work and not too much to show for it.
- You’re burned out. When’s the last time you took a break? Switched up the routine a bit? If you’re still thinking, you may need a breather, a chance to go off the grid for a day or so and recharge. Time to refresh is not a privilege it’s a necessity.
- You’re lonely. Online social networking is great and you can make some wonderful friends, but you also need to get out there and make friends in and out the writing field. You need your writing friends to commiserate and appreciate the life you lead and you need non-writing friends to give a different perspective. A writer’s life can be a lonely one and it can drive you bonkers, don’t let it happen to you.
- You don’t have any support. Are you battling deadlines, kids, bills and the feeling no one really understands what you do? You are in need of support – it makes all the difference in the world. When someone’s in your corner it can help you get over those hump days and it’s important to have someone to share the good times. Nothing like calling up a friend to relay the news of a hot new gig knowing they are just as excited as you are about it.
- You’re not enjoying yourself anymore. An important indicator of having a great job is when you love what you do. You don’t have to love it all the time, there are days I’d like to throw my laptop and favorite pen out the window, but generally I get a whiz bang out of writing. Recapture that magic and it’ll show up in your work.
- You’re not charging enough. Raise your hand if you ever worked your butt off for a piece only to get the check and decide it’s just not worth it? Ok, hands down. What’s going on with your fee schedule? Should you really charge more and does your work justify it? This great article from James will help you make what you’re worth.
- You’re not doing what you really want to do. You became a freelancer so you could travel the globe, or your local playground, finding tips and trends in a fascinating field. Six months later you’ve got SEO and tech work coming out of your ears. You keep telling yourself it pays the bills, but really a corporate job would do just as well if that’s all you wanted. Time to check your goals and develop a plan to get back to your dreams.
Getting to the bottom of what ails your pen is not only great for your career, it’s great for your health. People who are passionate about what they do live fuller and longer lives. Let’s get you back to living yours.
Thursday’s post: “Inspirational Writers for Inspired Writing”
Got any great tips on a common writing threat/malady? Have you dealt with one of these and overcome? Share below!