On Demand Writing

'Chadburns Ships Engine Order Telegraph Great Lakes Naval Museum April 24, 201034' photo (c) 2010, Steven Depolo - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Within the time I was away from the blog, I attended my grandmother’s funeral, my sister’s wedding, and started a business with my mother. All three events were life-changing – cataclysmic even – and all three events required my writing.

These instances created opportunities for what I call “on demand writing:” where there’s a defined deadline, short creative leash, and expectations from the person who places an “order” for your services as a writer.

I wrote a poem for the memorial, the maid-of-honor speech for the nuptials, and countless marketing material for the company. My creativity was exhausted. I ended up feeling spent any time I thought about penning a story or crafting a poem. Along with the additional stresses of school, family, and other obligations in my writing group, I lost all motivation to write for fun, and further, I made myself feel guilty for not attending to my craft.

From this experience, I learned a few lessons:

  1. Start saying “no” before you become overwhelmed. Learning to limit your responsibilities can help you avoid feeling burned out creatively.
  2. Make creative writing a priority and set aside time to write on a regular basis.
  3. Always have a writing project to work towards, in case the casual, unprompted moments of inspiration do not arrive as expected. For example, a collection of go-to writing prompts or goals (like one poem a week).

Getting over this hump has been a struggle for me but, it’s nice to be back, and writing when I feel like it.

Q4U: What is your experience with “on demand writing” and how does it affect your creativity?

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