Recovering From a Smack Down
Here it is. You know this has been waiting in the wings, ready to strike on a whim: You’ve annoyed a client. You’ve missed the mark completely. Your grammar and style are totally off. You are an idiot and you officially suck at writing.
Go ahead and wallow in self-pity for five minutes. Throw a pillow across the room and scream. Consider learning to say, “Would you like fries with that?” with a smile on your face. Are you done now? Good.
Look At Where It Went Wrong
You need to start by looking at where the article went wrong. Did the client provide contradicting instructions and not reply to your questions? Okay, then. You tried — it is not your failure.
Did you have one typo in your article? Did this make the client lash out at your first grade writing? Okay, so you made a mistake. Everyone does. Unfortunately, your client has some issues of his or her own and you cannot fix that.
Is your piece really horrible? Yes, even the best writers have bad days. The key is finding ways not to let one bad day turn into a bad week.
Are You in a Rut?
Are you writing on the same topic day after day? Many writers do because they have niche-writing areas. This can lead to boredom. If you are bored, your writing can end up boring, as well. Take on a different style of article or a topic that you find fun and interesting. Even one piece can get your creativity and enthusiasm flowing.
Writing is an artistic adventure, even if you write only technical pieces. Writers are sensitive to rejections, at least the good ones are. If you do not care, you are not improving and everyone can improve. Take a few minutes and read the work of a writer whose work you really enjoy. Sometimes you can find a spark that sets your writing back on fire.
Maybe you just need some time off. When you work freelance, your hours and days can become long and you may not get the down time you need. Sneak a day to yourself with no writing involved. Do something else you enjoy and you may feel refreshed and ready to battle again.
Get a support group. Whether your supporters are family members or other writers you’ve never met, venting will keep your frustrations from overwhelming you. You are likely to find someone else facing the same thing and you can get new ideas for overcoming the wall in front of you.
Rejections happen to freelance writers, whether the rejection is their fault or the clients’. If you allow the rejection to take over your world, it will spiral out of control. No one writer will make every client happy, 100 percent of the time. Just keep pounding the keyboard and occasionally swear at it. This too shall pass.
Barbara B is a freelance writer who loves writing about home and auto repair, construction, science and engineering. She enjoys researching and writing DIY articles and white papers.