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In A Slump Options
Posted: Saturday, March 4, 2017 11:57:30 PM

Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 3/15/2013
Posts: 0
I have always enjoyed being a copywriter. Mostly, it was my dream in high school to get a degree in journalism and write for my local paper. Unfortunately, that dream didn't pan out for a variety of reasons. However, my passion for writing never subsided. Over the years I have written blogs, self published a few novels and I write for Zerys. In terms of being a professional writer, I am a bottom feeder. However, every time I collect a meager amount of pay for my work, its almost like I am living my dream. With that said, I feel like I have lost my way.

I work long hours at my day job. I am also a husband and father, so family life can be demanding and time consuming at times too. Still, most of the time, I fit in time to write. Lately though, it has not been panning out. I have accepted a few articles as of late, and due to my schedule, I find myself missing deadlines or phoning in my work. The last two articles I have written were declined. It has been months since I have worked on my latest novel. I have hit a wall, and I don't know what to do.

Surely some of you have gone through this before. What did you do to get that initial spark back? 
Posted: Monday, March 6, 2017 10:45:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Administration , Member, Moderator

Joined: 2/6/2013
Posts: 68
Hi Brian,

I think every writer can relate to this at one time or another, including me. When I hit a roadblock, I like to just start writing. Write anything. Take a job that you feel you can do, or if you aren't seeing any jobs right then, write in a journal or write some of your novel.

Sometimes, just the action of writing can start to spark ideas. You might not use what you initially write, but it still helps you get in that writing mode, so when the next job comes along it is a bit easier.

Thanks for being one of our valued Zerys writers and a part of our writing community here in the forums. I'm sure some of our veterans will have some great advice for you too!
Posted: Monday, March 6, 2017 1:59:17 PM

Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 1/5/2016
Posts: 1

I feel your pain. Deadlines are the bane of my existence - yet without them, I think I would wander around lost in the latest storyline I can't get out of my head. But beyond that, my thoughts on what you've shared are questions to ponder.

Have you tried writing about what your time is most consumed by? Can you write in a way that incorporates your job, or people at your work? Can you write stories with your children as the superheroes who rescue the dad from the dreaded evil villain, Dr. Overtime? Have you tried writing something that normally is way out of your comfort zone? aka you're normally a mystery writer - but today you dabble in a comedic take on the Wild West.

Maybe doing something different will spark your first love back up into a flame and give you a fresh start.

For me, I write as a business, so I often find myself so focused on the 'earning money' part of my day that I lose sight of the joy I've always experienced. It's sad when crafting a Facebook status takes the place of my daily writing time. But I comfort myself in saying: any time spent writing is better than never knowing the thrill of the art. :)

Take heart - as far as I can see, you're normal. Or at least as normal as we writers can be!

Posted: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 12:19:13 PM

Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 12/14/2013
Posts: 109
I'm so sorry you're going through this, and I can totally relate! I'm a published author, with 2 novellas on the market and a third contracted right now, all through the same small-house publisher. I write on Zerys and take on other odd writing jobs now and then to pay the bills. 

I'm in a bit of a slump myself, as a result of how difficult it is to make even a meager income writing fiction. I (naively) believed that just being published traditionally would give my career a huge boost. While I've enjoyed the support of my fellow authors and the professional level of editing and cover art (that I haven't had to pay out of pocket for), it hasn't done a thing for my paycheck. It's mostly up to me to market myself, which I'm not great at. All this discouragement makes it difficult to concentrate on my "paid" work. Most of the time, I'm thinking about what I could be doing to sell more books, or that I should be working on edits for my novel that's currently pending release.

In this way, I totally agree with what Joy said above. The work of paying the bills often makes me feel trapped. Maybe that's what you're going through? Could you be feeling so consumed with the "must-do" things in your life that it's stifling your ability to write anything at all?

For me, taking some time to read something for pure enjoyment (in my case, a romance novel), often renews my desire to write. Yes, my first instinct is to get back into fiction writing, but I often find that even starting to work on that makes me more open to working on the less interesting stuff.

Hope that helps, and just know that you're not alone! We've all been there. 
Nancy M-49020
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:05:49 PM

Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 1/7/2015
Posts: 58
Location: Los Angeles
On a practical level, I suggest "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. Do your morning pages faithfully. I've been doing them for nearly 20 years. Talk therapy is also very helpful. Good luck!
Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 9:33:19 AM

Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 2/24/2013
Posts: -7
You don't find time to write, you schedule time to write. Maybe that means getting up a half hour earlier and banging out 20 minutes of words while slugging back the first cup of coffee. Maybe that means writing longhand on a legal pad on your coffee break or lunch at work. The only thing that's going to provide you with any time at all to write is designating a certain time that is for writing and then defending that time with the tenacity of a hungry badger.

Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017 9:15:43 AM

Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 3/1/2013
Posts: 264
Hey Brian, 

Instead of missing deadlines, it's always better to contact your clients and explain why you can't submit the assignments on time. Most of them will extend the deadline. 
Also, some clients may be willing to work around your schedule. For instance, one of my clients works with several writers to build up an article bank. The articles assigned to me usually have very long deadlines, ranging from several days to several weeks. And if I require a deadline extension, he usually approves it...Therefore, I guess it's better to decide first how many articles you can write and then inform your clients accordingly.

Regarding rejections, I always ask clients if there is anything I can do to improve my writing. Over time, some of them 
have given me some valuable suggestions...And you can always tweak and post any articles rejected here
Posted: Sunday, April 23, 2017 8:23:04 AM

Rank: Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 10/11/2016
Posts: 6
Location: South Africa
Missing deadlines for articles is not such a good idea and that really is matter discipline - we just have to do it. When it comes to creative writing, this happens to all writers. I find that when I'm not inspired to write, it's a good time to read some great novels. Personally I go for Le Carre. This is a good time to read the work of writers that first inspired you to write. 
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