Some might be surprised that living in Spain isn’t all that is required for inspiration. It was about a month ago that I realized I was in a writing dry season as far as my freelancing goes. I had been selling most of the articles I pitched for a while, and even my rejection letters were encouraging me to submit again. This stopped being the case further back than when I realized it, though I cannot pinpoint a date.
1. Take a Break
I was so discouraged a month ago, I had stopped even checking the emails from my favorite source, Funds for Writers. Nothing even looked like work I believed myself capable of– not my usual mentality. As opposed to what I hear most writers talk about, I don’t usually suffer from crippling anxiety about my work. It’s about the only thing I don’t have anxiety about.
Now, my wife’s family came to visit us for the last week. If you’ve ever had people in town to visit, you know that it is nearly impossible to get work done at home. Which, is actually not a bad thing. Two of the best things is that not only do you get to spend time with your visitors (the first), the missing work creates a drive to get back to it.
(As a complete aside, I’m hoping to have a short video up of our time with my wife’s family by next week)
2. Find Work, Not Contests
Contests are where writers go to have their hopes dashed, slashed, and crushed.
There are tons and tons of contests. They usually promise higher sums of money and some degree of prestige, but out of the hundreds or thousands of submissions (many of which are, at best, skimmed), only a few win. Usually one. That’s it. The odds are not in your favor.
Work, however, might get the same number of submissions (though I’m fairly sure it’s less in most cases), but also have more possibilities for entry. They pay is less (though you should seek at least six cents a word), but the work feels like work when you get it in the best possible way. It has a deadline. It has a real paycheck. It has a published by-line.
3. Find Encouragement
There are people I turn to, podcasts I listen to, and movies I watch when I’m in the need of encouragement. Here’s a list of a few of them:
- My wife
- My two friends I consider my unofficial mastermind group
- The Don’t Keep Your Day Job podcast
- The movie Anonymous
- The movie The King’s Speech
- The movie V for Vendetta
The movies all are unified by the underlying power of words. The podcast has fantastic advice for people trying to pursue their dreams. My wife and my friends not only have my confidence in their advice, but they can help me through the early stages of work, like my novel (which is not in a dry spell), by giving me the positive notes. I’m still nervous about the revision notes that will surely come.
I’ve been constantly encouraged by many of you, especially those who have read my work (be it blog, article, or novel-in-progress). Thank you to those who have supported me on Patreon! It is because of your support that I keep going.
Thanks to Cindy Horn, our primary supporter on Patreon.