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:
- Start saying “no” before you become overwhelmed. Learning to limit your responsibilities can help you avoid feeling burned out creatively.
- Make creative writing a priority and set aside time to write on a regular basis.
- 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?