It’s not unusual to reach a point where your freelance writing career feels stuck. Note, I’m not talking about writer’s block; writer’s block (yes, 2 different links) is the seeming inability to write.
I’m talking about that sense that you should be doing more or doing something differently to make your writing career grow in the direction you want it to grow in. Which also feels like frustration and get result in a lot of self-searching that seems to go nowhere.
I’m not sure why a writing career sometimes gets stuck
I don’t know why your writing career feel stuck, nor do I understand why mine feels that way sometimes. I’d like to think it’s a signal we’re expanding into another higher, more expansive and even more profitable level. Sometimes it does seem to work that way. But not always.
I do know the symptoms that my writing career feels stuck can range from boredom with what I’m writing, having trouble finding new clients, and/or being tempted to even change careers.
3 Steps to unsticking writing career
I have found three exercises that can be helpful in times like these:
- Getting in touch (again) with my Life Vision or Purpose
- Informed by that Vision, make a list of what I think I should be doing.
- Break it down to 5 things I should be doing daily
Your Life Vision
A solid understanding of your Life Vision can help you get out of bed in the morning with some sense of purpose and excitement. When it’s strong enough, it will help you continue to grow in the directions you want to grow knowing you can best be of service to others when you have such a vision.
If you don’t have one it’s fairly easy to create or you can get help with creating one. Google Life Vision or Life Purpose or get in touch with me if you want some help.
As a writer, your purpose will most likely include your writing. Maybe you want, like I do, to help people get their dreams into words. You might have an activist streak and want to use your writing to support that. Occasionally people who read this blog will discover writing plays very little into their Life Vision – which is fine – better to find this out sooner than later.
What do you think you should be doing?
With your Purpose or Life Vision in mind, make a list of what you should be doing to help make it happen. It sometimes makes sense to split this list in half – start with the things you are already doing, then list the things you think you’re doing but aren’t.
Look at those things you aren’t doing and ask yourself two questions:
- Is this really important to do to achieve my Life Vision?
- If it is, why am I not doing it?
If it’s not important, take it off the list. If it is figure out how to get it done.
My list looks like this at the moment:
Get WritingWithVision working well including, announcement banner, corrections on ebook, right-hand column, page explaining free consultation, an article index. This gives me something each day to do that is directly associated with my Life Vision, or, if time allows several things.
When I’m truly supporting my Vision my writing career feels stuck no more.
What 2, 3, 4 or 5 things should you be doing daily?
Most of us can’t get an more than five or so things done each day toward our Purpose; in fact, two, three or four may be all we can handle well. Often these will actually be baby steps and the sort of thing that if you don’t get that step taken the whole project will stall.
So you might have, for example, getting a website up. You even figure out you should be working on it daily until you’re done. List a step each day. For example, ordering a domain name might be the first thing, then choosing a host – or the reverse. Or you might want to do both of those at the same time. Adding WordPress through a one-click installation might be next. Choosing a theme… you get the idea.
Sure some tasks will take more than a single day, but this system works best if you break down the goal in small enough pieces so each can be completed in an hour or so.
When that project is done, pick another and step by step work your way through it. Assuming you’re mostly on target with your Purpose or Life Vision you’ll soon find you are getting unstuck.
Not so by the way, don’t be surprised if you discover your Life Vision, whatever you call it, needs updating from time-to-time. It only means you’re growing.
What do you do when your writing career feels stuck?
Write well and often,