As a freelance writer, you make your living based on your ability to churn out numerous quality pieces of writing. So when you run into the already devastating roadblock that is writer's block, it becomes even more devastating. Your words don't come out right, you spend hours writing something that previous took only one-third of the time, and your pitch efforts are proving futile.
Since your livelihood comes from your writing, it is important that you overcome your writer's block as quickly as possible. Keep these tips in mind the next time you encounter a block, and you'll hopefully be back to your usual brilliant self in no time.
1. Take a break.
When working as a freelance writer is your full time job, it's easy to get burned out. You're churning out word after word, sentence after sentence, day after day. Take a half an hour or so to just walk away from what you're working on. Take a nap. Move around. Go for a walk, do a quick yoga routine, or do some jumping jacks. Read a few interesting articles. Doodle. Vacuum or do the dishes. Do something other than writing for thirty minutes.
2. Move to a new location.
If you've been working at your desk for awhile, maybe you simply need a change of scenery. Take your notepad or laptop and sit in the park if the weather is nice. Find a table in a coffee shop or cafe if it's not. The new environment will work wonders on your creativity.
3. Free write.
Forget about the assignment that you're working on. Just because you're a freelance writer and you do have to write for a living doesn't mean that you can't simply write for you every now and then. Set aside ten to fifteen minutes of time and just write. Don't stop to think. Just write whatever comes out of your head. Some writers use this as a tactic to further their current writing project--write whatever you know on the topic at hand for fifteen minutes. Don't even worry about capitalization or punctuation.
4. Get rid of any distractions.
If you no longer need the Internet for your research, turn it off. Put away your cell phone. Lock up the TV. Whatever is distracting you from really zeroing in on your work, get rid of it. If you're trying to write with noise in the background, chances are it actually isn't helping.
5. Do more research.
If you're having trouble writing on a topic, you might not know as much about it as you thought you did. By taking a break from writing to do a little bit more research, you're opening up new avenues for your article.
6. Work on multiple projects at once.
Working on the same writing assignment for long periods of time can bore you and make you start to hate your job. By keeping it interesting and allowing yourself to move freely between assignments, you'll find that you have a much easier time finishing writing.
7. Find your most productive time.
I do my best work in the morning. Maybe it's the same for you. Or maybe you're a night owl or you prefer the afternoon lunch rush at your favorite cafe. Find the time that you work best and always set aside that time to work.
8. Phone a friend.
Take a mental break for a minute and call a friend you haven't talked to in awhile or one that you talk to everyday. Have a nice conversation, mention that you're stuck on a certain assignment, and ask for advice. If they have some, great! If not, it was still a worthwhile conversation.
9. Read something you've already written.
As freelance writers, writer's block hits us hard. It makes us begin to question our existence as a writer. What if we were never really able to write in the first place? By going back and reading things you've previously written, you'll remind yourself that yes, you really can write, and yes, it does come naturally, and yes, you really do love what you do.
Just because you're facing a roadblock and you're not sure where to go from here doesn't mean that you should give up or that you'll never be able to write again. Take a break, create a change in scenery, write a to do list, do some more research, or go make your bed. You've still got it.