This is a guest post by Kimi Clark
As writers, we’re supposed to be writing all the time, right?
At least that’s what we’re told.
Write every day.
Think about writing all the time.
Dream about writing.
Do it so often that it becomes second nature to you.
So you can do it in your sleep.
With one hand tied behind your back.
But life happens.
And it’s OK.
It happens to everyone.
And when you’re at that place, it’s sometimes best to do something other than write.
Why? Aside from saving your sanity, you’ll find that not writing can, in its own way, actually improve your craft (and your freelance business).
Below are ten good reasons to stop writing (temporarily, of course). Can you relate to any of them?
1. So you can read.
Reading is something most writers love to do anyway, and yes, it helps us with our writing.
I personally find myself putting it on the back burner because of the feeling that I need to put writing first, and with a limited amount of time, reading seems to go by the wayside. Don’t let that happen.
2. Because you need to learn.
Being a writer these days requires SO much more than writing!
Between websites, blogs, social media, eBook creation, drumming up clients…the list goes on and on.
You really do have to devote time, sometimes a lot of it, to these other tasks. And it’s a whole lot easier if you know what you’re doing. So if you have the opportunity to watch a webinar or listen to a podcast on growing your email list or managing social media, by all means, do it!
3. So that you can meet with a client.
If you’re a freelance writer, chances are you either have clients or are looking for some.
Even if your goal is to have your own business and solely do your own writing, (I’m all for working for yourself!), on the way there writers usually do work for someone else somewhere along the line.
Clients aren’t always easy to find, it takes time and effort on your part. Then once you have a client, you have to meet with them, or discuss details by phone or email. It just takes time, but it needs to be done.
4. Because you’re working on other non-writing business tasks.
Again, this is a necessity when you’re a freelance writer.
You have to upload your posts to your blog, and get them to look just right. (Unless of course you’re already doing well enough to hire someone to do it for you.)
You need to update social media. Be careful with this one though, it tends to take up way too much time if you’re not careful. (And yes, I’m speaking from experience.)
You have to manage your email list and send out a newsletter.
Again, the list goes on and on.
5. You need to attend a promotional event.
Whether you’re an author out promoting your next book or you’re a newbie just getting to know people at a local Chamber of Commerce networking event, you will have to get out there (step away from the computer screen!) and promote your work.
This one isn’t easy for many of us, and there probably are writers who haven’t done much promotion…but I think the majority of us have, or will, at some point.
6. So you can network with other writers.
Writing is a lonely career…or it can be, if you let it. You need to put in the effort to connect with other writers so you don’t feel isolated and alone.
Some people form local groups and meet up in person at the local coffee shop, while others find an online forum or Facebook group to join and connect with their peers. Do whatever works for you, but please do something. It’s so important to have the support and camaraderie a group offers.
7. Because you’re helping someone else.
Yes, even though writing seems like it’s all about us, the writer…it’s really about others. Who do you write for? How can you help them?
Along those lines, at times we actually have to actually stop writing and help someone else.
Maybe it’s another writer who wants you to read through their latest work, or even a neighbor who could use your help moving their couch. Whatever it is, reaching out and helping others is something that not only helps the person, but it helps us as well.
Giving of ourselves is the best gift we can give.
8. You’re out experiencing life.
Whether you’re an author, journalist, freelancer, or a blogger, if you really want to have good material to write about, you have to LIVE!
Go out and have experiences that you can write about…it’s as simple as that.
Enjoy your life!
9. Because you’re spending time with the ones you love.
This kind of goes with the enjoying your life suggestion above, but focusing on family and friends when you’re so consumed with your writing can be challenging.
It’s not that we don’t want to, but there is always so much to do!
Take the time to stop writing and give your family your full attention on a regular basis.
After all, what good is it making it to the top if there’s no one there to celebrate with you?
10. You’re enjoying your freedom!
This is my favorite one. As a writer, even though we have deadlines and due dates, we still have more freedom than most people.
Freedom to work at the local coffee shop, or take the afternoon off. Freedom to work the hours we choose, or to schedule our vacation when it works for us.
Freedom to watch a Disney movie with my kids when they ask me to. Now that’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything.
So there are your 10 reasons not to write.
Can you think of any others?
Share them with us in the comments.
Author Bio: Kimi Clark is a career stay at home mom turned writer and blogger for hire with a passion for business. She specializes in blog posts about writing, entrepreneurship, as well as all things parenting and motherhood.
You can find her ramblings at http://www.writewriterwrite.com, where she’s on a mission to support and encourage fellow writers to follow their dreams and enjoy the journey!