How To Fall In Love With Writing Again - Day Job Optional - Michelle Christina Larsen

Don’t judge me, but… my laptop is totally going to be my Valentine this year. *slow jam plays*

Yep, I’ll be spending February 14th writing about New York Fashion Week and sipping an endless supply of coffee while snow pummels the ground outside.

The countdown to the most romantic day of the year had me thinking about the ups and downs of love this week. I started to see some vivid parallels between a love for writing and love for human-folk.

That said, let me ask you something: Is being a writer really what you thought it would be?

Are your visions of scrawling cutting-edge articles, breathtaking travel stories, exciting fiction or the wittiest copy on the planet panning out?

If you’re knee-deep in writing career bliss right now, I am sending you a giant high-five through the screen.  That is awesome. But for those who’ve begun to feel a little lukewarm about our writing work, just know that you’re not alone.

Writers of all levels sometimes groan at the thought of hitting their word count. Even the pros sometimes feel tempted to reschedule a client call they just don’t feel like having.

So the question is, how can we get the magic back? How can we fall in love with writing again?

After almost a decade of falling in and out of love with my writing career, I’ve put together some tried-and-true tips on rekindling the flame.

Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on those sexy tunes, and read on.

1. Make it a date

Since when did writing become a chore that tempts you to “accidentally” dump a latte on your laptop?

It’s time to make writing irresistible again. Start by treating writing sessions the same way you would treat a date.

What does that mean?

It means you start out by blocking time on your calendar. Day or night—whichever time you prefer. Pencil it in and get hyped up about it. You wouldn’t make a date and then just not show up, right?

Clean your workspace the way you would if you had a hot date coming to your place for dinner (there’s nothing enticing about your fingers sticking to your keys).

Light some delicious-smelling candles. Pour yourself a warm-and-fuzzy drink. Set the mood with your favorite tunes.

You’ll find that deliberately making it special feels silly, but ends up working.

The combination of a clean space, good vibes in the form of music and aromatherapy can propel you into inspired writing mode.

Bonus tip: Write in your underwear! That’s why you became location independent in the first place, right? 😉

It's time to make writing irresistible again. Start by treating writing sessions the same way you would treat a date. Click To Tweet

2. Remember why you fell in love

You may have seen/read me mentioning your “why” before.

In our first-ever Q&A video, I included identifying your “why” as one of the most crucial steps in redefining your niche as a writer—watch it here if you haven’t seen it: How To Change Your Niche & Hit The Ground Running

Reconnect with your reason for freelance writing so you can access it when things aren’t going so well. What made you choose writing in the first place?

Was it for location-freedom, so you don’t have to commute into the office in the morning?

Was it to spend more time with friends and family? To take a random Wednesday off?

Was it so you have more time to work on your novel, your blog, or some other passion project?

Getting back in touch with your “why” can reign you back in, even when you think you’ll spontaneously combust if you have to write one more page.

Make an effort to reconnect with those reasons and let yourself feel that excitement again.

Reconnect with your reason for freelance writing so you can access it when things aren't going so well. What made you choose writing in the first place? Click To Tweet

3. Put a ring on it

If you want it to last, you’ve got to commit. The same goes for writing.

It’s February now. If you’re already slacking on New Year’s resolutions, you know how hard it can be to stay committed to things—even when we care about them.

How do you walk the walk for the long haul, then?

By getting literal. Don’t just tell yourself you’re going to write this year.

You need an action plan: dates on a calendar and concrete goals broken down into steps.

If you’re anything like me, there are many distractions in your daily life. You have to be relentless about committing to the important stuff.

When you start sticking to your schedule and hitting your goals, you’ll feel incredible, and that love of writing will naturally rekindle.

On the contrary, if you let things slide, you’ll feel guilty and less motivated to stay serious about your craft.

If you're anything like me, there are many distractions in your daily life. You have to be relentless about committing to the important stuff. Click To Tweet

4. Spice things up

Oo-la-la! This one is fun. Also, essential.

You’ve heard of spicing up relationships to reignite the flame, but have you heard about spicing up your writing career? It works.

If you’re bored of writing a certain genre, working with specific clients or publishing on an outdated platform, it might be time to change things up.

That could mean trying a new genre, pitching to a new magazine, getting a new computer, switching over to a new writing app… whatever makes writing feel fresh again. Do you need a sun lamp? A new pen name?

There’s no wrong answer here.

Take stock of what your writing experience looks like, and try to identify anything that feels “blah” or heavy.

Hit refresh, and see your (writing) world through rose-colored lenses once more.

You've heard of spicing up relationships to reignite the flame, but have you heard about spicing up your writing career? It works. Click To Tweet

5. Find your confidence again

Sometimes writing sucks because we get into that “I suck” mindset. I find that this usually occurs for one of two reasons:

  1. You’re stuck in comparison-mode
  2. You need to upgrade

You can remedy #1 by resisting the tempting torture of comparison.

At the very least, cut back on viewing the book reviews and client testimonials of writers who are years ahead of you.

While you’re spending time lamenting over the success gap between you and someone more advanced, you could be working on your own writing. Focus on you!

But also, allow yourself to chill out. All careers grow at different paces. There’s nothing natural about forcing progress. You could be killing your own mojo.

Jealousy of any kind can really take the wind out of your sails. Maybe you can relate to a time in a relationship where a lack of confidence triggered similar ugly feelings?

Tame that noise. You’re above it.

Finally, consider (rationally) whether you really could use some tools or training to level up your writing.

If you feel stuck, there are many ways to work on the quality of your writing.

Try taking a new writing course, study the published work of other writers, or do some practice writing sprints. You can connect with writers in our own community to get feedback and accountability.

Remember that you’ll never reach a level where you feel like you’ve accomplished it all and can hang up your hat.

A writer’s life is a work in progress, and the more you embrace that, the more confident you can feel about your work.

While you're spending time lamenting over the success gap between you and someone more advanced, you could be working on your own writing. Focus on you! Click To Tweet

The moral of the story?

If you want to fall in love with writing again, you’ll need to make time for your projects, remember your “why”, fully commit, try something new, and reclaim your confidence.

Want to hang with other writers like you? Join us in our Facebook group, Wi-Fi Writers Club

Freelance Writing Tips - Day Job Optional Newsletter

Michelle Christina Larsen is the Co-founder of Day Job Optional. Strong coffee, strong wi-fi, and absurd inside jokes are some of her favorite things. She spends most of her time penning copy for fashion brands, doing zany DIY projects, and planning the next stamp on her passport. In her spare time, she founded a holiday marker's market, a daily drawing blog, and an independent clothing line.

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