This was a very well written post, on a topic that will help a lot of people. I have not lost my love of writing, and I hope I never do. Having my own freelance writing blog has helped me keep the passion by helping others and hearing their success stories.
Rekindling the Romance of Writing
Do you remember those days when the thought of escaping the office and the torture of a 9 to 5 pay-the-bills-job to sit at home in your pajamas was enough to make you nearly unbearable to be around?
Remember dreaming of having nothing more pressing to worry about on any given day than sipping coffee and pouring out thoughts on paper after leisurely reading the paper and sending out some very non-urgent Tweets?
Remember the flutter your heart felt when you thought about writing all day long and writing about whatever you wanted to, not what somebody shoved down your throat for you to write?
Remember being flirtatious with your computer? Or maybe even more scandalous–being flirtatious with pen and paper?
If a love of writing was what propelled you into becoming a freelancer, read on.
In the Beginning
The life of a freelancer, for all intents and purposes, is typically much more romantic when being stared at from the outside in. Freedom filled. Passionate. Mysterious. Intriguing. Sexy.
You know what it felt like, yeah?
And then, then you made the plunge. More likely than not, you tossed aside a steady, reliable paycheck. A desk at an office with colleagues. A set schedule. A per quota daily minimum. Assignments delivered to your hand.
Instead, you jumped headfirst into this world we know as a “freelancer.” You attached it to your name proudly, like a pin or treasured family heirloom. Jocelyn Anne. Freelancer. Creative extraordinaire. Personal boss with personal time and a schedule that has no schedule. Bring it!
And, I’m going to be willing to bet, in the beginning, you adored it. Adored the vacation-like feel. Adored scouting out articles you actually wanted to write or cared to write. You fell in love with your writing and took that to an even deeper level. When we have the capacity to dive in and to embrace our passion with such unreserved fervor, it is magical.
It’s when the bills start coming, the leads start dwindling, and we find ourselves becoming lonely within our home and missing the companionship of our colleagues that we can begin to fall right out of love.
The End of the “Honeymoon”
Somewhere along the way, the computer becomes a source of dread and the internet a mockery of our attempt to find “just one more” person willing to accept or at the very least, even give our writing a glance.
It can be a cold, cruel world out there for freelancers. A mean world where even your own kindred spirits are fighting you head on for the same pitch.
This is when it gets ugly. It’s a bad breakup. You followed your heart, and you got let down. Dumped. And now, you’re broke, lacking prospects and feeling beat down and ego-less.
(Not to be a downer or anything, really.)
There’s Still Hope
What I’m here to tell you is that there’s hope. If you’ve been here, are here, or are worried about being here, you shouldn’t fear. It’s love.
Like with anything, you heal, and you move on. Like a marriage, writing takes work. I know, I’m being cheesy but stick with me here.
When the parts of a significant other seem to vanish or become lost, the spark easily starts to fade. That’s why happy couples have date nights no matter how long they’ve been together. Why they sit down and catch up, even if they couldn’t feel less like talking or catching up. That’s why they invest time in their partner even though the only thing they want is their own time. And you know what? They fall back in love and they stay in love, because they’re dedicated.
Find Your Love of Writing
If you’re over your love of writing, then you’re just gonna have to suck it up and get back in the game. Yes, I’m going to tell you to get romantic with writing again.
Clearly the normal sitting down at the kitchen table and banging your head against the screen isn’t sexy or exciting. So, plan a date night. Make dinner, set the mood. I’m talking candles and your favorite writing music, that I’m guessing, you haven’t pulled out in awhile.
Make it a point to do all the things you imagined loving to do as a freelancer. Put aside the panic of working 24 hours a day and sleep in tomorrow. Sip your coffee. Play online. Get inspired by the artwork at the local museum.
When you find yourself doing the things you thought you’d do and loving it, it will help sustain you when you sit down again to write. It will make the uncertainty of the job worth it all over again.
Try a new tactic to rekindle the spark. Write about something you never write about. This isn’t going to win a Pulitzer prize, the point is that it’s going to get you back in the groove, back into the place where it thrills you to see the words form on the screen before you and where you sit back amazed that those just came from your mind.
Use a new voice if you need to. Pick an alias, weave a background and a future for your pen name and write out of that persona. When you bore yourself, you’ve definitely reached the point where you’re going to have to make a cross over and find someone else. It’s like a shopping trip for a new date. Doll it up and feel good about yourself again. We all know the miracle a makeover and hairdo has on our confidence, so too can a new name for a writer.
Start to love what you’re doing again, more so than loving what “it” is that you do. You won’t necessarily always love being a freelancer. But, you can always love writing. That’s easy. You’ve done it before and you can do it again, no problem.
Go stir up the sparks, light the fire, and get to work!
Has the excitement of being a freelance writer faded? What will you do to find your love of writing again?
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July 3rd, 2011 at 6:51 pm
July 4th, 2011 at 3:31 am
me and writing have never got along but hopefully with these wiser words we can grow stronger together!
July 4th, 2011 at 10:54 am
Just in the nick of time as I’m feeling that proverbial ‘burn out’ that every freelancer feels after years of working solo. Yes, I do remember writing like I’m possessed by this creative spirit that enslaves me, making me write until the wee hours of dawn to the point where my hands feel numb with all the scribbling. I was doing it the traditional way few years back, where I would flip the pages of this huge dictionary to get the right words. Then, after having compiled a chapter, the feeling of euphoria is so.. unexplainable, like you’ve just fallen in love with a tall, dark and handsome stranger. I’m quite surprised that I’m describing it the way I’m writing it right now… wow.. I’m missing a lot lately, so I guess, I’ll take the time off and find that long, lost feeling..that drive that pushed my imagination beyond its limits. I’m definitely missing it… a lot! Thanks for the reminder… or was it serendipity at work?
July 7th, 2011 at 2:31 pm
I still feel guilty pleasure every time I wake up and realize I get to ‘play’ all day. Course, I sculpt and craft in addition to writing, but same difference ;].
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