4 Invaluable Tips for Writers

I’m one of the lucky few who make a living out of writing, and although I love my job dearly and wouldn’t trade it for any other, there are times when I wish it was more routine than the nerve-wracking ordeal it can be. When there is no dearth of inspiration or creativity, everything is gung-ho and you’re on top of the world with the feeling that you have the best job in the world. But when the words are stuck in a place between your brain and your fingers and refuse to flow as well as you would like them to, you end up becoming frustrated especially if a deadline looms not too far ahead. If you hope to make a success of being a professional writer and stay in this business for a long time, here are a few things you must know:

  • Writer’s block is not always resolved the same way: There will be many times when you’re lost for words and have trouble writing to your usual standard. Taking a break may help at times but not always. At other times, you may have to push through the lack of creativity and plod along until you find your groove. And then there are times when you find that a change of subject may help jog those creative instincts. So when you suffer from writer’s block, it’s not wise to look for the same solution every time. Instead, use your instincts to determine what would help in that particular situation.
  • Deadlines are sneaky: I’ve been guilty of this one myself, so I can give you firsthand knowledge on this subject. When you write against a deadline, you tend to put things off till the proverbial last minute. This happens especially if you have a few years of experience and are confident of your ability to deliver even in a short period of time. But then, you often forget to factor in Murphy’s Law that says – if something can go wrong, it will. So you’re likely to come face to face with a personal crisis or emergency just as your deadline is nearing, and because you’ve whiled away your time frivolously instead of focusing on work, you end up either overshooting your deadline or doing a hurried and botched-up job, both of which don’t do anything for your credibility as a writer.
  • Writing as work is different from writing for yourself: I became a writer by accident – a friend discovered through my blog that I could write well and recommended me to a few people who were looking for professional writers. And although I took to the job like a fish to water, there are times when I feel that writing as a profession is a drag when compared to writing for yourself because you are passionate about the craft and the subject you choose to write about. So once you begin writing as a career, remember that there will be times when you feel incomplete and unsatisfied, but as long as you choose assignments with care, you should get used to these moods and get over them quickly.
  • Payment discussions are important: Some writers are paid an hourly rate while others charge by the article (or number of words). While the former takes into account the work associated with any number of re-writes, the latter is unfair when you’re asked to redo parts or the whole of an assignment. It’s best you discuss payment upfront with the client before you take on a project and also talk about the mode and method of payment. Don’t short-sell yourself just because you are out of work; good writers are not a dime a dozen, so wait for your worth to be recognized and given its fair due.