The question of how to handle freelance writer burnout is pertinent to thousands of busy writers worldwide. The work of freelance writing can be a rewarding, fulfilling, dream-achieving, and enjoyable; however, it can also be very challenging, time-consuming, frustrating, and potentially repetitive.
Depending on the types of freelancing being done and the contractor being used, the pieces may involve writing to the exact same format but for dozens of different topics, or vice versa: Continually writing about the same topic and squeezing as much content out of it as possible.
Especially for a freelancer that relies on writing income to pay bills and make ends meet, content providers often reach a point where their skill level is high enough to provide quality content on a variety of topics, so contractors may seek or approve their work for multiple projects. But, to earn this money, that task may involve writing on subjects the writer does not typically find enjoyable. Just because a technical writer happens to be able to put out a competent entertainment piece does not mean that he or she will enjoy writing about Angelina Jolie.
This type of burnout, from being “forced” to write on undesired topics, can be difficult to overcome. In tough economic times, it may seem like a dreaded impossibility to confront the contractor about differing assignments, but requesting to write to one’s strengths pays off for both parties in the end: Writing to a specialty means more efficiently finishing articles and other works for the contractor, while the author is able to maintain expertise and a comfort level with familiar subjects.
Another type of burnout simply results from overwork. This may mean having to write dozens of articles every day at low rates, like just shoveling quick-read pieces onto the market. Or, in another possibility, this may mean having to write one very large project every week, but the demand becomes overwhelming if other aspects of life are supposed to be juggled along with it.
In either case, communication can remain important as terms are worked over and tweaked with the contractor. However, one important element to keep in mind is this: Freelance writing should rarely, rarely be relied upon as the sole source of income. Even if a writer is very skilled in a wide variety of subjects, it can still be a difficult lifestyle to hunt down leads and work with multiple contractors (or just one, causing a monopoly of sorts).
With that scenario comes the sobering realization that a part-time job may be necessary on the side, or even to keep freelance writing as a reward hobby and keep your “day job.” But in the overall day-to-day storyline of freelance writing, the key of how to handle freelance writer burnout is simply this: Take a break, realize that this is temporary, go do something else for a while, and come back to the task with proper motivation in mind. The work will not always be enjoyable, but professionalism maintains that due diligence should be followed in order to get the job done and collect the paycheck, which should help ease the pain of more arduous projects.