Freelance Journalist, Editor, Copywriter and Author – Dubai

What To Do When Words Fail You

Every morning I hazily wake up at 7am to have breakfast with my OH before he leaves for the office. The smell of brewing coffee and eggs is enough to have anyone leap from the sheets – or, in my case, roll out of bed and moodily crawl to the kitchen. Once he leaves at around 8:15am, I have a choice – sit and start work, or head back to bed for a snooze.

I’ll let you guess which option I have been choosing of late.

See, friends, there’s a reason why you haven’t seen me around these parts of late. I’ve fallen into some sort of permanent writer’s block. Only this is less of a “I stare at a blank page and cannot seem to get inspired” situation and more of a “I’m just not interested in writing right now,” conundrum. I have little to no desire to write anything other than whatever I need to sustain myself financially – that is to cover basics such as rent, bills, food and enough for the odd drink or two at the weekend.

Last December I returned to freelancing after a short stint back in the corporate world and at the time I was fired up to make it work even better than before. I was at my desk by 8am, emails done by 8:15am, and roaring with story pitches and article writing for the next few hours. I was so motivated that I was taking on loads of extra work and getting paid really decent money to do so. I even started planning my debut novel in great detail (yes, it’s still not happening).

I then experienced a few small set backs – one of the main publications that I write for scaled their freelance budget waaaaay back, and a large number of client meetings (which require a lot in terms of time for planning, travelling to the meeting, putting together proposals and quotations etc) all led to nothing. One thing led to another and I slowly started losing motivation.

So there’s an unfortunately and fortunately to this situation:

Unfortunately I can’t quite figure out exactly why, but I’ve spent over a month feeling very indifferent about my writing. I can barely bring myself to do my work, let alone blog or work on my novel. I’ve been feeling like I’m deep, deep in a rut – so deep that I’m not quite sure how I’m going to climb out of this one.

Fortunately my OH is great at getting me to open my eyes to the bigger picture of any given situation. He knows how to help me to man up even when all I want to do is curl up like a hedgehog and pretend the world doesn’t exist. His solution? Just start writing again. Whatever it is, whether it’s a blog post, a short story; just do it. Don’t think too much; just go for it (oh how well he knows me).

And so I came to my laptop and did just that. I already feel miles better. This may not be a novel, nor will it make me any money, but it’s a start – and it’s exactly what you need to do when words fail you.

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