Professional content writing is a great career. Your opportunities are endless. You can make as much or as little money as you want. You can work from home or anywhere else in the world that is convenient for you.
Your schedule is also flexible so you can spend time with family or take off on a day trip or week-long vacation as the mood strikes you. But what happens when all the deadlines and demands on your time causes burn out?
Burn Out: A Crippling Condition for a Freelance Writer
There are many things that can cause you to become frustrated with your professional content writing career. Increasing client demands, tight deadlines, lack of available work and lack of time off can cause unhappiness. Some writers feel they have no choice but to keep writing to keep the bills paid. I’ve talked to many writers, and have experienced the same thing myself. You feel guilty if you don’t write, so you force yourself to sit at the computer and work. However, your heart and your mind aren’t in it, and it’s impossible to force your fingers to type. This leads to more guilt and frustration, and then you feel even worse. It can seem like there is no way out.
Jump Start Your Creativity: Stop Writing
So your creativity is suffering and so is your writing. What can you do now? Stop writing. This advice may shock you; it shocks everyone that I give it to. How are you going to pay bills if you don’t write? But look at your situation objectively – if you combat your lack of creativity now before it becomes even worse, you’ll feel better and can write more when you pick the keyboard back up. Step away from the desk and get out of your office. The following five activities can help clear your head and make you a better writer when you get back to your computer.
* Take a walk. This is a simple activity that you should engage in several times during the work day. Get up, grab the dogs’ leashes, walk around the block and get some fresh air. This will help you clear your mind, burn some calories and return to your desk ready to work.
* Take the day off. When you are engaged in professional content writing for a living, you may find it difficult to take the day off. Clients can call and email at any time. Don’t get in this rut. You should strive to take at least one weekend day off (both are better). Schedule a wild and crazy weekday off at least once a month. Go shopping, get a mani and pedi or just veg in front of the TV. This will work wonders for your creativity.
* Attend a class. Another way to give your creativity a boost is to attend a class or workshop on writing. This can help you find new inspiration and write better when you get back to work.
* Do something else you enjoy. Professional content writing is a great career and can keep your mind sharp. However, when you get burned out, think of doing something else creative. Painting, knitting, refurbishing vintage furniture or even working on your fiction novel can keep your creative juices flowing while you take a break from writing to pay bills. You can also volunteer somewhere. Your local animal shelter is a great choice – fluffy dogs and cats can do wonders for the soul, and you can help make their wait for a loving home a little less dismal.
* Network with other writers. This is also a great way to increase your creativity and get away from your desk. Find groups of like-minded writers, whether online or in person. You can learn from others, and maybe even help someone else in the process.
Maggie O is an active duty member of the United States Air Force, who attempts to keep a freelance writing career afloat in her free time. When she’s not writing or serving her country, she spends her time with her family, her dogs and her growing empire of Mazda vehicles.