01 May 2013

Writing what you don't love

When it comes to fiction, I adore what I write. I mean, I have to in order to put that much into it, right?

On the other hand, there are times I'm writing for work and my heart is not fully in it. It's kind of inevitable when you're writing for clients instead of for yourself. You're not going to be excited about every piece you write, and that's okay.

So how do you slog through content you're not passionate about?

One of the overwhelming aspects of projects I'm not excited about is the size. If it's a bigger project, it can seem to go on forever. Breaking it into smaller sections helps. Instead of knowing I have to push my way through a big project, I can focus on pushing through just this section of it, take a break, and move on to the next section.

Breaking it into smaller pieces also helps give yourself breaks to work on other things. I know that if I take a break in the middle of a project I'm not excited about to work on something I like, it's easier to come back to the other project. I know I don't have to spend all day on a project I'm dreading.

Finding the best time to work on those projects, as well. I used to be a night-writer. And while I still do a lot of writing at night, I find that I do better on projects I don't like if I tackle them first thing in the morning. My mind is sharper, and I make better progress. Then, if I end my day on "fun" projects (or fiction), I end my day better. It's easier to make my tired brain work on something I'm excited about than something I'm dreading.

You're not going to be ecstatic about everything you write if writing is your day job (unless you're a full-time novelist, in which case I'm incredibly jealous of you right now). But you can power through those less-than-awesome projects and get back to the fun ones.

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