Not all writers are full-time. Actually many of them are not. But there are some who like the idea. They might even call it “the dream”. I find it quite ironic that when those people are learning how to reach their goals so that they can live a life they’ve chosen for themselves, they’re pumped full of “Do”s and “Don’t”s in order to get there. No matter what kind of writer you are, whether it’s journalism, blogging, fiction, self-improvement, children’s, etc. you are a creative. And in order to tap into that creativity you should be able to do whatever you please to get to the success you’re aiming for. Here are a couple of examples of what I do that I have been told to avoid so that I can continue tapping into my creative mindset and keep the writer’s block at bay.
I personally find that procrastination is the best way for me to get things done. If I’m not feeling a subject, how is it going to make anyone happy if I force myself in front of the computer and pump something out. It’s not going to be my best work, and I know it. In these situations, if I can’t opt for another subject that is more fitting for my attitude and flow of ideas, then I deliberately avoid it. I take walks. Go to the gym. Sit down and read a book. Do some dishes. These activities (away from the computer) are a good way for me to clear my head of pressure from the keyboard in front of me and give me another perspective to get different brain waves moving. Open your thought process to other things by getting away from what’s overwhelming you and you’ll find new ideas will begin to shape your subject and give you a fresh perspective to write it better than you could before.
2. Watch TV
What is this lady… crazy? I’m sorry but I love television. I don’t know why we give movies so much credit but TV is the redheaded stepchild. I love watching a program that takes me out of reality, maybe makes me feel better about my life, motivates me to be better, or makes me die with laughter, and having a brilliant trigger come to mind of a subject to write. Sometimes it’s as completely obvious as sharing what a celebrity had to say about business or social media, and sometimes it’s more cryptic and it’s up to me to interpret in a new way for my audience. Regardless, it makes me feel sheer brilliance and I get to present it in a completely relatable way (should they watch TV , too).
3. Eat Chocolate
You can fill in this one with whatever makes you feel fantastic. But eating a piece of chocolate makes me really, really happy. That’s why they put candy in offices, right? Because there was a study of employee morale being higher when sweets are present. If I can have a little something pleasant as a treat, I’m going to be much more excited to approach my deadlines.
4. Sleep In
Soon after I first became full-time freelance, I was at an event with a client and I struck up a conversation with another freelancer. She heard me say I had just taken the plunge a week or so prior and she screamed with excitement. (This was especially nice for me because no one had sounded so happy for me just yet… family was still a bit on the rocks.) After the preliminary “congrats” and “your first year is going to be hell but you’ll make it”, the next thing she said to me was: “Don’t let ANYONE judge you for your sleep schedule. Do what you gotta do and sleep when it’s convenient.” I’ll never forget that. Such an odd piece of advice to give, but so incredibly true. How do you know when I’m supposed to work and how that’s going to pan out for me? I know my deadlines and when I’m at my peak performance, so I’ll get it done and decide when sleep fits in. (This is not advice to sleep more or less than 6-8 hours every night. Too much feels just as good as too little. Ugh.)
If you can think of something to add to this list that gives you a guilty conscience because of what the rest of the world has told you is correct, then leave a comment below. Justify it. Tell yourself why it’s good for you to do it. As long as it’s not life-threatening (smokers… I’m lookin’ at you), you should be allowed to test that theory and I hope you’ll let me know how it goes.