Writer’s block is a thing that I have heard many people complain about, but it’s never been a problem for me. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I write both for a living and for pleasure.
I first started blogging and copywriting about four years ago, as a means of supplementing my income. Within 4 months, I was earning enough to quit my other job and write full time. I spent hours at my desk, working hard to pump out enough content to pay my bills. It was fun and fulfilling, but it was also a lot of drudgery and simply forcing myself to do it.
During this time, I totally stopped writing fiction. All of my “writing time” went to paying the bills, and it was hard for me to write anything for fun because writing was my work.
Then came the day that I rediscovered my love for creative writing. On a weekend trip to visit family, I write a 12,000 word graphic novel script, and I was totally hooked. I haven’t stopped writing since!
But it’s still damned hard to write both for work and for pleasure. I want to ONLY write for pleasure, but I still have to pay my bills. That means first thing in the morning I’m sitting at my desk hammering away at my computer to write blog posts and articles. Only once my work is done can I make time to write fiction.
That has actually taught me A LOT of self-discipline when it comes to writing. When you have an editor breathing down your neck to produce a new blog post or newspaper article, you have to reach that deadline no matter what. You can’t claim writer’s block, so you have to push on.
Thanks to the fact that I write for work, I have learned self-discipline. If I find myself in a bind, I stop, take a breath, walk around for a few minutes, then sit back down and try to find a new way to tackle the problem. I have learned new, creative approaches to overcoming writer’s block, and it has allowed me to overcome every challenge I’ve faced in my fiction writing.
If you treat your writing like a job–one that pays the bills, and one you approach with a professional attitude–you’ll develop a lot of self-discipline that will carry over into every other area of your life!