Canadian pop-punkers Sum 41 have waxed philosophical about motivation, the lack of which they found aggravating, and I’m pretty sure every writer ever has struggled with the same problem. Jack London once said that you can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club. So what’s a Writer to do when they’re in a staring contest with a deadline, and have no idea where to start, or can’t get up the energy to work on an article? Here’s some thoughts, from someone who’s struggled with motivation, huddled in the shadow of the most looming of deadlines, and lived to tell the tale.

A lack of motivation can be painful.

A lack of motivation can be painful.

Know Thyself

Choose your assignments carefully. Users can choose niches to describe orders, and Writers can use them to describe themselves, so put them to use. Look for gigs that fall within your specialties and make it easier on yourself to write. Use the Offerings system, which allows you to tell Users what you’d be best suited to write. Be wary of complacency though! If you only ever write about interior decoration you run the risk of getting bored with the topic, which can be just as paralyzing as having no interest in a topic, which leads me to…

Challenge Thyself

Sometimes, it might be worth it to pick a subject you don’t know much about, or which you aren’t interested in, and force yourself to write about it anyway. The best way to improve as a writer is to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. It’s like exercise: if you don’t increase the speed of the treadmill or the weight of the… weights, you’ll stop getting anything from the workout. Think of it as a chance to learn something new, and maybe something about yourself: maybe it will turn out that you really care about gardening or plumbing after all! Learning how to write about new subjects, even if they don’t get you all fired up, means you can write about a wider variety of content. New, challenging topics can also mean access to new Users, who might be interested in having you write more for them.

Plan to Stall Out

While it’s always a good idea to plan for periods when you can’t write because of your day-job, childcare concerns, or any other responsibilities, it’s especially helpful if you suspect you’ll have trouble staying focused. Get started on it as soon as possible. If you plan for periods where you can’t or won’t be writing, you can simply roll that into your own, personal estimate of how long the piece will take. Every Writer has a different process, and you need to figure out how and when you work best. If you write better at night, or before breakfast, do that. If you know that you’ll have to stare at your computer, mulling over the start of an article for three hours, be sure to budget time for that!

We all wish we didn’t have to deal with poor motivation or a lack of inspiration, but it’s an unfortunate reality of the writing process. It’s better to accept it and learn how to deal with it, especially when you have a deadline you have to meet. Since you get to pick the things you want to write on Content Runner, you can help stave off those problems with a little foresight. Look into the niches, or create an Offering so you can put it out there that you want to write technical articles about car repair, or that you want to edit someone’s ebook. Use the tools we’ve provided to help you produce the best work you can!