I’m usually a bit skeptical when I hear people talking about ‘writer’s block’. I’ve been knocking out an average of 4,000 words per day since turning full-time as a writer four years ago. There have been days when I’ve felt too lazy to write, but it seems a bit disingenuous to use a fancy name to describe these periods of not wanting to work. You don’t hear nurses claiming they have ‘nurse’s block’ or fire fighters moaning about ‘fire-fighter’s block’ when these professionals are in the mood to take things easy.
I’m going to be financially secure by age 50 (in less than six years). I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make this happen. Last month I created my master plan for achieving this goal, and I’m going to share it here:
Becoming financially secure by age fifty is now my priority in life. I have slightly less than six years to achieve this goal – it seems like a long time, but I know it will pass by all too quickly. I’m going to tackle this project with the intensity it deserves, but there is going to be plenty of fun along the way.
I’ve had a couple of emails this week from readers who are planning to start their own blog as a tool to overcome their addiction. I think this is an excellent idea, and I would encourage anyone to give it a go. Blogging has been the most important tool in my own journey away from addiction – it is the nearest thing that I have to a program. I started blogging with the intention that it would be a journal of my new life in recovery, but right from the beginning it acted as my therapist and guru.
I’ve been guilty in the past of taking on freelance writing projects with less than an enthusiastic attitude. This begrudging view of work will arise when I judge the project to be boring and therefore a bit beneath me. At these times it can feel to me as if I’m doing the client a huge favour instead of feeling thankful for the work they are sending me. I am professional when it comes to getting the job done, but there can be this underlying feeling of resentment about doing something that feels like a waste of my abilities. It can mean that for the duration of the project I feel put upon and at times almost miserable. It is only in recent months that the truth became obvious – the problem is not the work but my perception of the work.
The Writer I Think I Should Be Versus Reality
In a few of my posts on here recently, I’ve talked about how almost all of my suffering occurs because the stories in my head about “how life should be” do not match the reality of my life. My work as a freelance writer provides another fine example of this type of unnecessary discomfort. My problem isn’t that I’m occasionally offered boring projects that I can’t afford to refuse, but that I’ve somehow picked up the idea that the only projects that I should be involved in are the ones that interest me. If I had clients banging down my doors with offers of $200 a word articles I probably could afford to be choosy, but this is not the reality of my situation. The problem is that in my mind I am that type of writer who is able to pick the cream of the writing project crop.
I know that when there is a conflict between the stories in my head and reality there can only be one winner. So long as I hold onto this belief about what my freelance career should be like, I will keep on inviting the real world to slap me about without mercy. There will continue to be this inner discomfort because I’m not where I should be, yet where I am is the only place I can be.
No Such a Thing as Boring Writing Projects
The cure to my freelance writing dilemma turns out to be so simple – I just need to stop believing the crazy bullshit about myself that is not true. It means accepting that the work that has come my way is the work that I should be doing. When I can do this the project stops being boring, and I stop feeling resentful. It means that I can return to hopping out of bed bright and early in the morning while looking forward to a day of writing. It’s so easy.
I’m no longer sure that there is such a thing as boring writing projects. There is just the writing that I think I should be doing versus the writing that I am doing. There is no such a thing as “should” – there is only what is. So by kicking that toxic word out of my vocabulary completely it will mean that I never will have to face boring writing work again.