Has this ever happened to you? You complete one assignment: Poem, story, article, chapter and now you find yourself at a loss of what to do next? There is guilt, panic, and fear you have nothing else to complete and at the same time you are waiting to hear back from the magazine, publisher or agent?
Why does everything take so long! My husband says I don’t wait well. He’s right. I want answers immediately and I know the world doesn’t work that way. The in-betweens happen to me a lot, as I’m working on a book and I’m totally distracted from doing other kinds of writing as a full-time freelancer.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. My writing history leans towards the nonfiction and creative nonfiction genres as my professional history is heavily in the news and research categories. The research part of it is what got me going and I love that part the most. The writing up of that information is never easy. However, when there is a lot of fodder to work from makes it easier than coming upon a great big zero.
My personal dilemma is that I don’t want to take an assignment that will demand some intense time and then get demands from my publisher at the same time that also need immediate attention. I’m very conscientious about meeting deadlines. I can thank some very cranky editors for that.
But that’s not why you are reading this article, right? You may in the same place I find myself periodically, which is nowhere land in between projects, where you may or may not have control.
So, that’s where I am… in-between.
But, frankly, we do have some control if we plan our projects carefully. It’s nice in theory, but even the most diligent and organized of us find ourselves floating around, unmoored to the rock of freelance projects, book chapters or short stories waiting for edits.
There is much we can do if we decide to take control. Here are some tips to survive the horror of being unmoored:
- Crack open that book (or books) that you have been wanting to read.
- Write a book review for your local paper or website
- Try your hand at poetry if you have never written poetry before.
- Revisit that poem or short story you started before you got bogged down in your current project
- If you haven’t already, join a writing group in your community. There are writing clubs everywhere and they are a great source of support and information.
- Join a writer’s forum on LinkedIn. It’s another great source of information and writing options.
And after all this, you may not find yourself with answers you’ve been waiting for but you have accomplished something you’ve been wanting to do all along.