It happens to us all, but that very issue is what separates the amateurs from the professionals. I don’t believe whether or not you get paid for something you write is more defining than the fact that you’re willing to sit down and produce even if you’re not in the mood. If you have the discipline and drive to write through the mood swings I’m certain the income will follow.
At this point in my career I don’t have a choice, I have deadlines and commitments (twelve deliverables by Friday). I have to be productive today, even if it takes eleven hours instead of my usual seven. But what about those of you who don’t have an outside push to keep you on track? Are there things you can do to help fight off the lack of motivation? Absolutely. All professional writers have things they do to help when inspiration runs dry. Here are some of my favorites.
- Set deadlines. Even if you don’t have a client waiting for an article, give yourself a deadline. Then, write it down. It’s easy to fudge a deadline when it’s just in your head.
- Set a weekly writing goal. If you write fiction, it may be a word goal. If you write articles or devotions, it may be a finished product goal. (like, I’ll have 2 finished devotions every week)
- Find a critique group or partner. If you’re meeting regularly with someone, you’re more apt to be producing regularly. What if you don’t know any writers nearby to meet with? Look for an online group.
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