Spinning my Wheels

Ever have one of those days where no matter what you do, you’re always distracted and feel like you’re doing a lot but not getting anything done?

I had one of those days today. I kept starting on a project, got distracted, moved on to another project, got bored, was working on the critiques for the short story contest, kept feeling like I was supposed to be doing something or was forgetting something but couldn’t remember what it was, and ended up not doing much at all in the end. I have the start to three articles, but they’re not that great. We’ll see.

“Mama told me there’d be days like this….”

So I’m here to tell you that in your freelance writing career, you are not going to be immune to days like this either.

What works for me?

Sometimes, pushing through the distraction and boredom and frustration and forcing myself to work anyway will eventually kick start me, and I’ll be able to dive right in.

Other times, nothing works.

My fellow freelance writer Jennifer Walker one day, shortly after she began freelancing full time, told me that she had had a dud day, where she got nothing done. Then she started talking about answering emails, placing a bid, taking a cert exam, making a couple phone calls.

The more she talked, the more it sounded to me like she had gotten quite a bit done. When I said so, she said, “But I haven’t written anything!”

Well, I understand that. We’re writers, and so if we’re not writing, we must not be doing anything, right? (shaking head) NOT!

See, while we might be writers, we still have to run our writing as a business, and that means we have emails to answer, and phone calls to return, and bids to place, and publishers to research and and and….

… the point being, unless you’re completely up against a deadline, you’re going to have days where not much writing gets done at all. Call them ‘professional housekeeping’ days. After all, if you’re not in the best work mood, you’re not going to be writing your best, and those other maintenance chores need to be done anyway, so why beat yourself up about it?

Sure, I know, some of you reading this are list makers. You make your lists, you have your goals, and man, you check them every day, and if you’re not reaching your goal every day, then the sky is going to fall!

Nah. It’s not.

See, Maybe your goal is to write five articles per day for a work week.

Well, if on Monday, you write seven, and on Tuesday, you write six, then on Wednesday you only write three, you’re still on target, even if you didn’t reach a daily goal. Plus, the neat thing about working for yourself is that if you don’t quite make it Mon-Fri, you can always set aside an hour or two over the weekend to do a little catch up.

Freelancing really requires a bit of flexibility. (doesn’t life require that in general?)

So, I’m going to forgive myself for a really blah and unproductive day, knowing that I did get some housekeeping items taken care of and that tomorrow, I’ll hit it fast and furious, or I won’t, and we’ll take it one day at a time.

Just be sure you don’t have too many days like that in a row, and you’ll be fine to let yourself have a blow-away day now and again. Think about when you worked for someone else. Did you ever have a day you called in sick, when you really weren’t sick, just to have a blow-off day?

The ONLY difference in the freelance writing career you now are seeking or have is that you’re the boss and so you know for certain you’re not sick. Just don’t tell yourself that, and you’ll be fine (wink).

My boss, she’s a bit of a bitch sometimes, but as long as I keep her in the dark about these things, I and I get along just fine, mostly.

Keep writing!

Love and stuff,