Sometimes we just want to hibernate. Our minds freeze up and we can’t find the words that normally flow. There’s been a lot of talk about writer’s block out there lately and I think the winter freeze could be to blame. Even if our bodies aren’t hibernating, our minds may want to.
Whenever that happens, it helps to put the current project aside and work on a shorter one. Short stories are good for this, but I also enjoy freelancing for my local newspaper. Freelancing will force you into writing, writer’s block or not, because there will always be a looming deadline. But the best part is that it will bring you out into the world to talk with people who have stories to tell.
To do this, it’s as easy as contacting your local newspaper to ask if they need freelancers. Reporters are usually understaffed and they’ll be glad for the chance to unload a story or two. When I first worked as a reporter out of college, I got the job by visiting newspaper offices with my resumé and a writing sample. A tired reporter happened to be walking by and asked if I’d write a story as a freelancer. One story led to another and I ended up working there as a full-time reporter.
Freelancing is more fun than full-time reporting because it doesn’t involve town meetings where people argue until midnight about sidewalks or traffic lights. Since I have a regular day job now, I write feature articles every few weeks or so. No town meetings are involved and I love getting out there to talk with people about all the exciting things they’ve done. It will make you realize how true it is that stories are everywhere and that will melt any writer’s block away.
Do you have any questions about reporting or freelancing? What do you do to beat the winter freeze?