When the Word Well Dries Up

I wanted to title this post Melissa and the Very Bad Day, but thought that might be a bit over dramatic.

See, last week I had a Bad Day.

You know, the kind where you feel like Eeyore? Your tail has fallen off and it’s raining only on you.

When I get in that mood, I have no creativity. No enthusiasm. I basically just want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers up until all you can see of me is my toes down at the bottom, and yell at the world to GO AWAY.

This happens to me about once every two weeks, almost always right on schedule. You see, since I work full time and write whenever I’m not working, I run myself a bit ragged.

Every other weekend I take off. But when I’m not off, I’m ON.

On “Off” weekends, I go upstate (my family lives there) where I spend almost no time online or doing work. Those weekends I spend enjoying myself with my significant other, spend as much time as possible outside and generally relax.

But the weekends when I’m not “off” I am very definitely “ON.” Those weekends I spend 8-10 hours a day (or more) doing work. Writing, pitching, talking to clients, marketing… whatever it takes. And after working 5 full days, then spending 2 days doing yet more work, I tank. The Monday after an “ON” weekend, I generally feel dried out–and knowing that I still have another 5 days to go through before getting “off” time, I want to curl up and hide.

Unfortunately, hiding isn’t an option.

So on days when I want to hide, I don’t do client work (because if I did, I’d probably just have to redo it). Instead, since I have to do something, I do things that don’t require being creative or intelligent. I file paperwork. I fill out invoices. I update my excel spread sheets.

I give my writing brain the night off, and instead spend the day doing things that don’t require being a writer. Sometimes I deal with my inbox, responding to emails – other times I look over Craig’s list for freelance writing jobs I should apply to. Sometimes I do research for upcoming projects, learning more about the field or storing away links to explore later when I’m feeling passionate again.

My point is I spend the night working, because I have to, but I don’t try to force words when they don’t want to come.

Don’t get me wrong – I love what I do, or I wouldn’t put myself through it at all. But it’s not always easy.

How do  you cope with working on your business, even when you don’t really “feel” like it? How do you deal when you’re having a bad day? What about dealing with writer’s block?

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