This week’s guest post is by culinary writer Bridget Sanford. She writes about keeping your joy in writing alive even when it’s your day job.
How to Keep Your Passion Alive for Your Personal Writing When You Write for a Living
You dreamed of being a writer when you were a kid — you just didn’t think it would be writing promotional copy for someone’s website. Instead, you thought you’d be writing best-selling novels and award-winning poetry. Maybe you imagined seeing your name at the end of movie credits or accepting an Oscar for best screenplay.
Even though you are happy to be able to pay the rent by spinning words, you wish that you were making an income doing the type of writing that you love. However, you find that working so much on writing for pay has diminished your enthusiasm for writing for pleasure. Here are a few tricks you can use to keep your passion alive for your personal writing — the stories that will make your name famous one day — when you write for a living:
Set a Schedule
When you write for a living, it can be very easy to start writing at all hours of the day and to start blurring the boundaries of your working life and your personal life. You can make your work time and your “work” writing separate from your personal time by setting a strict schedule and sticking to it.
When you know that your “work” hours are from 9 to 5, for example, you can start to see that part of your day as business time — even if you are sitting on your couch in your pajamas doing it on your laptop. That way, when you settle in to work on your own writing, it can feel more like your own time. The mental shift can help you to approach your personal writing with a new attitude.
Read and Watch Movies
Reading a really good book or watching a really good movie can be great inspiration for your own work. If you are starting to become too bogged down with work writing, take a break and lose yourself in a good book or movie. Try out something new recommended by a friend, or retreat to a classic favorite. You’ll soon rediscover the motivation to create your own stories once again.
Take a Break
A simple break from routine can be all you need to rediscover your motivation. When you start to feel like you’re in a writing rut, just take a break. Go for a walk or a run. Meet up with a friend for lunch. Go dancing with your sweetheart.
Whatever you do, just getting your mind off your writing can help you to recharge and come back to your own writing with new energy.
Keep a Notebook on You at All Times
You never know when inspiration will strike. Make sure you capture the magic by carrying a notebook with you at all times. If you get an idea, you can write it in your notebook and explore it more later. That way, when you are ready to work on personal writing, you can browse through the ideas in your notebook to get inspired. You’ll be less likely to struggle with writer’s block and more likely to feel excited about the work ahead of you.
Writing for pay can certainly take some of the fun out of writing and make you see it as a job. However, by trying these tips, you can stay inspired so you can keep your passion for your personal writing alive, even when you spend all day writing for pay.
How do you keep your passion for your personal writing alive even when you work as a professional writer? Share your tips in the comments!
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for Culinaryschools.org, where recently she’s been researching dallas culinary schools. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.