It’s not like you’ll always get paid to write articles about topics you know and love.
Sometimes you’ll have to write about something like… mulch. This is article 2 of 10 in the “write about mulch” challenge.
If you get paid to write articles, it’s going to happen to you sooner or later. You’ll accept a gig, take a deposit, and roll up your sleeves to write your heart out. Except nothing will come out.
You close your eyes, take deep breaths, eat a snack (for inspiration!), contemplate the trees outside your window. Still nothing.
You decide maybe later is a better time to get this gig done. But it’s no different a few hours later when you try again.
The project begins to smell funny. A bit like a pile of mulch unceremoniously dumped on your driveway, in fact. You and anyone looking knows it’s there – it’s not like you can pretend otherwise. It’s not going to get up and take care of itself. The clock is ticking, and the stakes are high for getting it done.
You begin to enter a place called dread. You imagine all the work involved in getting this project done. The research you’ll need to gather. The constant battle to stay on track and not get distracted by, frankly, anything more interesting. The writing. The editing. The nerve-wracking time of submission where you don’t know whether your client will say, “This is great! Thanks!” or, “This is nothing but a pile of, um… mulch.”
You, my friend, have hit the wall called procrastination. It’s an unenviable spot where you’d prefer to do just about anything rather than the task at hand.
How do you push past it?
Here are some tips I use when I just don’t feel like doing what I’m supposed to be doing:
- See how you can possibly rephrase this, re-position the situation for better perspective. What if you said, “I get to write articles for money, and here’s an order I can use to build my business!” instead of, “For the love of all that’s good…. why oh why do I have to write these awful articles?” Works most of the time, but sometimes this approach leaves you wanting to punch yourself in the eye!
- Set a timer. I will do this thing without distraction until the dinger dings. Period.
- Find someone to help. If you’ve got a writing partner (kind of a NICE thing to have in this business), maybe your partner would love to write about that topic, or at least keep you company while you do it.
- Play a BIG game. Promise (to someone who will hold you to it!) you’ll do something even worse… cleaning their car, mowing their yard, mailing them a check… if you don’t finish this project on or before a certain date. (I’ve done this, and believe me, I made those deadlines!)
- Set a reward for yourself for completion.
With the mulch situation, I did a variation of the timer tactic. I set in my head that on one day I’d complete mulching the front and left side of the house. The next day, the line in the sand was getting the rest of the pile of mulch gone. After reaching these milestones, I celebrated with a few hours of sitting in the lake.
So, now it’s your turn. If you want to get paid to write articles, you’re going to need to flex these same muscles to get the job done sometimes.
You could be the proud owner of this lovely t-shirt