Finding solutions to common problems for writers is what “Quips and Tips” is all about! Here are nine ways to overcome writing obstacles — ranging from increasing writing discipline to earning more money.
Before the tips, a quip:
“Writing is elemental,” said Natalie Goldberg. “Once you have tasted its essential life, you cannot turn from it without some deep denial and depression. It would be like turning from water.”
You may be passionate about writing, but you’ll still struggle, fellow scribes. For more writing advice from Goldberg, read Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Goldberg.
And, here are nine ways to solve common problems for freelance writers…
9 Solutions to Common Problems for Writers
Writing Problem: Fear.
- Solution: Write as much as you can. Write for Suite101, or Associated Content, or your own blog, or your friend’s blog. Hell, e-mail me and write on my blog! I’m nice to guest writers, as long as they’re not better writers than I am. The only way to deal with fear of writing (or any fear) is to practice the very thing you’re afraid of. Read 13 Tips to Improve Your Writing Confidence.
Writing Problem: Discouragement.
- Solution: Discouragement is a death toll for successful writers; once it sets in, you’ve lost motivation. To kill discouragement, focus on either: 1) your past writing achievements; or 2) the failures and eventual successes of a writer you admire. Read 7 Traits of Successful Writers.
Writing Problem: Procrastination. (I’m doing it right now! Instead of writing my sample chapters – as requested by a publisher – I’m blogging).
- Solution: Work for 30 minutes, then reward yourself. Read Tips for Staying Motivated to Write.
Writing Problem: No money.
- Solution: Work in an office, restaurant, or book store part-time while you build your writing career. Most successful writers struggled with money at the beginning (and some still struggle!). Read 10 Tips for Making $45,000 a Year Writing.
Writing Problem: No ideas.
- Solution: Learn to spice up what’s already been written. For instance, there are already gazillions of articles about work. Instead of writing another one, focus on unusual jobs, new incentive programs for employees, or odd jobs in health care. Read Tips for Recognizing Great Article Ideas.
Writing Problem: No response from editors.
- Solution: Keep fine tuning your pitches and query letters. If you keep sending them, you’ll eventually get a writing assignment or contract! Successful writers never give up. Read Tips for Improving Your Query Letters.
Writing Problem: Procrastination.
- Solution: Did I mention I’m procrastinating right now? Well, that’s only partly true. I’m actually practicing my voice, honing my writing style, letting my personality shine through my writing. When you’re procrastinating, try practicing what you’re supposed to be writing until you feel ready to tackle the real thing. Read 8 Tips for Breaking Bad Writing Habits.
Writing Problem: Loneliness.
- Solution: To connect with other writers, pick two forums and visit once or twice a day. Successful writers don’t return every hour or half hour or keep the browser window open and hit the “refresh” button every 5 minutes! Surf for 15 minutes a day, and then get back to work. Read 8 Networking Tips for Writers.
Writing Problem: No incentive.
- Solution: For the beginning freelance writer, it can be difficult to write excellent pitches when you don’t know if a magazine will assign the article. To be a successful writer — freelance or not – find an “accountability partner.” He/she can be another aspiring writer or an entrepreneur. Find someone who has a goal, and work together to achieve your goals. Make a pact to share your progress – and figure out effective “punishments” if you don’t perform satisfactorily. Read 10 Tips for Achieving Your Writing Goals.