Guest post by Francesca Nicasio
I wish I could say that I’m the perfect freelancer who’s always in the mood to write and who can produce top-notch articles on cue. But I’m far from being that. There are times when I sit in front of the computer, ready to type up an article, but nothing comes up. Then there are instances when I can’t seem to come up with anything good. Every sentence I write sucks, so I end up deleting everything and starting from scratch.
Fortunately, I don’t get stuck in these instances that often anymore. Over the years, I’ve identified the things that hinder me from getting some writing done and I’ve found ways to overcome them.
Here are my top reasons for not being able to write. Check them out and see which ones apply to you:
1. Fear – I have the tendency to procrastinate on projects that intimidate me. For instance, if I land a gig that’s bigger than what I’m used to, my fear of not being good enough rears its head and paralyzes me. Kind of like how I’m scared of approaching spiders, I also get scared of tackling big projects.
The fix: There’s no way *around* fear. You just have to charge on through. How? You can remind yourself of how awesome you are. For instance, if you’re procrastinating on a project for a huge client, remind yourself that they already hired you, and they wouldn’t do so if they didn’t think you were good enough.
The consequences of not taking action can also motivate you to write. In my case, I remind myself that I’ll lose the client if I don’t complete the project. And that fear of letting the client down pushes me to get going.
2. You’re trying to perfect your first draft – Nothing you write seems to be good enough, so you end up starting over and rewriting your work again and again. Or, you can’t come up with the perfect introduction so you’re stuck staring at a blank page.
The fix: Just write something. Anything. Don’t know how to begin your article? Then start with the body or even the conclusion, if you know how your post will end.
Write continuously without editing. Even if your words suck or even if they don’t make any sense, keep at it and don’t hit the backspace button. Just let your ideas flow until you come up with a rough draft. Once you’re done, leave it for a day or two, then go back to it with your editor’s cap on and sort, delete, and rearrange the sentences until you come up with a polished piece.
3. You’re physically not in the condition to write – Writing blocks aren’t all psychological. Sometimes, you’re too hungry to focus. Or, you didn’t get enough sleep so you’re having a hard time concentrating. Maybe it’s too hot, cold, or dark so you can’t bring yourself to write.
The fix: Put your body in a condition and environment that’s conducive to writing. If you’re sleepy, take a power nap. If it’s too hot or cold inside your room, write somewhere else. If your stomach’s churning, eat something. (I recommend something healthy and light like fruits and veggies. Stay away from red meat because that can leave you feeling sluggish.)
Your turn. Can you relate to any of these reasons? What other factors are stopping you from writing? Reply to this post and let me know!
[I hope you enjoyed reading this. Do you know anyone who would find this message useful? Please share the love and forward it to other aspiring freelance writers or direct them to http://www.beafreelancewriter.com. We writers should stick together and help each other succeed. 🙂 — F.N.]