I don’t get writer’s block very often. And I hardly ever get blogger’s block. But if there’s one thing that gets my creative juices freezing, it’s money.
Which is not to say I wish to work for free – that’s just silly. They say your passion is something you would do even if no one is paying you – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to.
For most people, the prospect of getting paid is the ultimate muse. All they have to do when they get stuck is count the zeroes on their cheques and they’re good to go. But me, I find that distracting.
This is the problem.
Living my dream means writing for money – which translates into blocking from the pressure.
I’m still working on a system to get me out of this. I suppose I could go metaphoric and fix an actual block; stick my gloved hands down the drain and pull out some cloggy muck. That will likely clear up the plugs in my head. Unfortunately, my drains are pretty clean right now.
The good thing about my block is that I have something else to keep me occupied – editing. I currently have three assignments due, all stuff that someone else wrote. It’s so much easier to mark others’ work than try to start your own, so I focus on that as I dredge up writing ideas.
But I have to be careful. Editing can kill writing in more ways than one. Some writers lose their focus after their work is trashed corrected by critics. But many more writers get so busy helping others improve that they forget to write themselves!
Back to the blocking.
I’m not generally a good multi-tasker, but the first rule of successful hustle is … well … hustle! Have your hands in as many pies as possible. That way, if one is raw, or worse – rotten, you can still get your taste buds sated.
Only, be sure not to take on more than you can do. It’s very hard to turn down ready money, but you’ll lose a lot more if you do fifty shoddy jobs instead of five good ones.
I suppose the only way to turn down ‘free’ work is the buddy system. Just like having a gym-buddy keeps you hitting the treadmill, having a trade-buddy provides not only someone you can rant to about work, but also someone who can bail you out when you’re stuck.
Just be sure to choose your partners wisely. You want someone who’s good enough to deliver, so they have to be as good as you are, if not better. But you also want someone who is fair enough to return the favour. Think about it.