When Writing Is Rough…

by Catherine L. Tully

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

Everyone who is in this field experiences some rough patches. Times where they are blocked, discouraged, burnt out or just plain tired. This is normal, expected and healthy–so long as you don’t get stuck there.

Every career field has its ebb and flow, so down times are nothing to worry about. But if you are stuck in a rut, fried beyond repair (or seemingly so) or feeling really funky, it may be time to shift gears. Here are a few tips for getting through those dark times and coming out on the other side, refreshed and ready to go….

  • Give up. By give up, I don’t mean quit. I mean give up on trying to power through for a while and focus on something else. Can’t write that article? Put it aside and work on marketing yourself. Don’t have another query in you? Go through your old work and try and sell some re-prints. Sometimes going forward no matter what–just doesn’t make good sense.
  • Go away. Perhaps the cure is nothing but a simple change of scenery. Do you always write at home? Go to a coffee shop for a week and see if it replenishes your drive. Take your laptop to the park and set up shop for the afternoon–and write something fun. Getting out of a rut can sometimes be as easy as changing the background.
  • Get moving. If you’ve been sitting at a desk day after day, churning out copy, perhaps you need a little physical activity. Nothing beats depression like a brisk walk or bike ride to get those endorphins churning. Try it. You’ll see.
  • Get feedback. If you’re feeling down, sometimes talking with another writer can help snap you out of your funk. We’ve all been through hard times here and there and there’s nothing like someone in the “biz” to help you get some perspective on things.

What do you do to get out of a downward spiral? Help another writer and share a tip or two!