Freelance writing is not an easy business.

  • There are countless opportunities for distraction.
  • It’s difficult to find open opportunities that interest you and fit your experience.
  • You’re competing against other talented writers and so standing out in the crowd is not a simple matter.
  • You have to find a balance between writing for yourself and writing for clients.

I love quotes that say, “If you’re a writer, you’re writing.” Right. It’s that easy. I’m a writer. I love to write. I have stories floating around in my head and I see the world in words and not in pictures. There was never any other choice than being a writer, but that doesn’t mean I’m always writing. In fact, many times it feels like everything is conspiring against my career choice and it’s not as simple as saying, “Today, I’m going to write.”

My mom had a heart attack this past week. It doesn’t matter if I’m a writer or not, or I had a story deadline or not. I dropped everything and flew out to see my mom and be with her. Yes, you could say that was a “distraction” but it was also family and writing while your family is in trouble is not really something that is easy or simple to do. In fact, the day I found out my mom had a heart attack—and I was half-way across the country unable to do anything—my writing pretty much died. I was worried. I was stressed. My story was nowhere to be found in that frame of mind. I couldn’t concentrate worth a damn.

So how do you write in situations like that? I’m sitting here in a hospital room writing this blog. It’s the most I can do even though I know that I should be working on my story or completing client work. I would love to be able to pull from this experience and pour that into my writing, but that’s just not happening. At least not right now.

So, here I am, writing a blog about nothing; feeling guilty about not doing more for my writing and feeling guilty about not doing more for my mom. This week I was supposed to complete a novella and submit it to a publisher but the best-laid plans of writers don’t always work out the way we want them to.

Yet, all of this does not make me less of a writer or a freelance writer. It just means that I have to find times and find ways to still do what I love. Or maybe I have to take a break for a short while and get back into it later. It’s not the end of the world. You fall down, you get back up again. I’ll make new plans. I’ll try new paths. I won’t give up. It’s the best I can do.