This morning while sipping our coffee in the back yard, I was describing my latest writing project to my husband. After I had yammered on a bit (not sure if “yammered” is a real word but it feels right anyway), he said,
“You really do enjoy it, don’t you?”
Meaning the whole process of writing and rewriting an article or blog post for a website. I’d just told him about a back-to-school themed article I was writing for a parenting website. In order to round it out with facts and not just opinion, I had sent it to a former elementary school teacher for her input and reaction. It was returned to me with favorable comments and a few additions and corrections that inspired me and made me even more enthused about the project!
My answer was that yes, I do enjoy the process…once I have the idea for a piece. BUT, I hate the in-between time. There is a wonderful and “high” feeling upon the completion and acceptance of a piece of work submitted. I celebrate by plastering my good news all over Facebook and Pinterest for all to see. But it is closely followed by the question of what to do next for a client or for my own websites.
I do not enjoy the wandering mind and staring aimlessly out the window, trying to grab a deep thought or whimsical social comment to write about. While watching television, browsing the Internet or watching my dog be a dog, my mind is constantly looking for a subject or a “hook” that will grab a reader’s attention for a minute or two.
There is always this worry that I may have already used up all of my ideas and creativity. I know it is not true. Fresh ideas are out there and my imagination is being renewed every day, but those in-between moments when it feels like I have said all that I can say, those are not fun at all. I told my husband this and we agreed that song writers, painters and poets probably all suffer from the same concern. He used to be a full-time pastor and he recalled the difficult times in-between sermons when he wondered if more inspiration would come for the next Sunday.
A writer needs down time in order for creativity to recharge itself. Sitting in my house staring at the wall only brings frustration and if a deadline is near, panic. By “down time” I mean time spent resting or doing an activity that is not staring at a blank screen. Most of my ideas come while I am up and busy or out driving on an errand. During the night, ideas will arrive and I have a pen and tablet near my bed for that purpose. (De-coding what I have scribbled during the night is another interesting project!)
Since creating this official “Writer’s Website” in December of 2012, with no clue about what I was doing, I now have three consistent clients that I provide articles and blog posts for each week. I was hired by these clients by responding to their job ads online (Write Jobs is a great place!) and it was very helpful to be able to point them to this website. Of course, I also included writing samples and whatever they requested, but this site gave me confidence and a sense of authority in this area. And I continue to respond to job ads every week, it is just a part of being a freelance writer.
I love what I am doing as a freelance writer. The pay is terrible, but I am in the beginning stages and still working to find my writing rhythm each week. Freelance writing includes a great deal of careful administration duties that are very important. I love a good graph or chart full of details about articles going out and payments coming in! As long as those dreaded in-between times do not stretch out too long, I will be just fine!