Have you ever been in a writing slump? These slumps can take a couple of different forms.
There’s the “staring-at-the-blank-page” kind of slump where you can’t seem to find the words.
And there’s the “I’m-just-not-excited-about-this” slump where the words come, but you feel a little blasé about what you’re writing.
Neither slump is fun. The solution to the first slump is easy — in my opinion, anyway. Do more research. If you aren’t certain about what to write next, think about a question you need to answer on the page and go find the answer. Then, put it in your words. Start with an easy question — that’s usually all it takes to get the words flowing and the rhythm going.
The second is a little tougher. There can be lots of reasons why you aren’t excited about writing.
One possibility is that circumstances outside of your writing life may be sapping your energy. When that’s the case, the best thing to do is recognize what’s happening and be patient. Your zest for writing and for your subject matter will return.
Your subject matter itself is another possibility. It could be that while you love to write, you just don’t love what you’re writing about. If that’s the case, the first step is being honest enough with yourself to admit it. The second step is to be brave enough to do something about it. Switching niches — especially when you have a clientele — is scary business. But I promise you three things if you find yourself in this boat. It is worth it in terms of the satisfaction and reward you’ll get by doing work you really love doing. It is worth it in terms of the greater income you’ll earn — when you’re passionate about your topic, you land more clients and command higher fees. It is worth it because you won’t feel blasé anymore — nothing drains your creative energy faster than doing work that you’re pretending to love even though you know you don’t, really.
A third possibility is that you’re burnt out. You still love your subject, but you’ve been going so hard and so fast for so long that your brain is just fried. If that’s the case, take a break. Really. Trust me. You can do it. Take a little break or a big break. Do something completely different and passively creative (like visiting an art museum) or go for something daring and exhilarating (like zip-lining). It’ll restore your energy and passion for web writing in no time.
Slumps happen to us all. But if you pause and ask why, the reason is often very clear. And once you know the reason, you can take action to get yourself back on the path to a happy, successful, rewarding writer’s life.
New This Week
John Torre returns this week to bring you the second part of his series exploring the “Four P’s” of writing good copy. This week, he tackles the Picture and the Promise. Don’t miss it.
I also highly recommend this piece by Mindy on the original Dear Abby and what you can learn from her approaches to business, writing, and people that will help you succeed in your own business.
Finally, don’t miss this article by fellow Wealthy Web Writer Platinum member, Chase Canyon. Chase talks about what you can learn from Columbo when it comes to finding clients. It’s a fun read with valuable tips.
On the Calendar
This week, I hope you’ll join me for our next Wealthy Web Writer live Member Update. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tips on getting organized.
Then, in February, I’ll be taking a look at how you can identify and uncover layers of benefits for any product or service you are hired to write about. These strategies will make every piece of copy you write stronger.
Finally, get ready for the Web Intensive Live Blog, coming to you starting on February 17th. If you aren’t able to join us in Austin, you can follow the Web Intensive for a real-time, on-the-ground look into what’s going on.
Around the Web
Have you let fear of failure put off the launch of your blog? Carol Tice over at Make a Living Writing shares the long list of mistakes she made when launching her blog … and why they don’t actually matter.
I love this writing plan from Copyblogger — it will get you adding one powerful piece of content to your site a week.
A lively effective blog needs comments. If you feel like tumbleweeds are rolling past your posts, use these five tips from Amy Harrison to get more blog comments.
Everything you ever needed to know about guest blogging from SEOmoz.
And to finish off with a bit of humor, check out this infographic explaining social media through coffee. Enjoy!
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!