How to Be a More Satisfied Author


Writing can be a difficult hobby to maintain. When you push yourself to meet self-set deadlines or you critique your style a little harshly, it can feel more like a chore than a hobby. This can lead to long dry periods where you don’t write anything, or work that you don’t feel proud of and that you know isn’t your best. This is a difficult feeling to overcome, but there are several steps you can take to get back on track.

Consider why this is happening.  Are you struggling to think of ideas? Or to flesh out ideas? Are you feeling unmotivated because of the quality of what you’re producing? Do you not have enough time? There are a number of reasons that may be the cause behind your dry spell. 

The first step is to narrow down what is prohibiting you. Think about what happens every time you try to write something. Then, consider if you believe it can be reasonably fixed. Even if it may be difficult or take some time, the majority of these issues are manageable if you put in effort. 

Unfortunately, there are some that are less easily helped. Mental health can be a big blockade when it comes to productivity. Additionally, an outside source of stress like falling behind in school or a family emergency will take higher priority than a hobby. If something like this is stopping you, don’t sweat it if you’re not producing as much as you’d like to be. Write when you can, and celebrate what you do get accomplished. 

Come up with some solutions. Knowing the root issue will help you to outline some ideas. What benefits you will be different based on your personal circumstances, but some helpful tips include:

  • Write down any ideas you get as soon as you get them. Don’t wait until you have time to write, because by then you may have forgotten that you’d even received an idea in the first place. Grab whatever is closest to you- your phone, a post-it, a napkin- and jot it down. Also, don’t throw away what could turn into a project. Even if it’s something you mention in passing, tuck it away to think about later and consider if you could expand on that idea into something interesting. 
  • Try to be less critical of what you manage to produce. The vast majority of people who are very successful in one endeavor had dozens of failed projects before then. It’s important to remember that you are honing a skill, and that there is a learning curve. As long as you keep at it, you will improve with time and with learning what works for you. 
  • Take any time you have. It’s easy to say, “Well, I only have 45 minutes until I have to leave. I won’t be able to get much done in such a short time, so I’ll just [much less productive activity] instead.” Even if you only complete one or two paragraphs in that time, they will build up and you will soon be looking at a finished piece of work. 
  • Take inspiration from all sorts of sources. A beautiful view on the way to school, a crazy dream you had, a poem you read, your own personal experiences. Remember that the easiest way to get an idea is to look for one.

Stick to the plan. Arguably the most difficult part of reliably doing something is to keep with whatever plan you’ve come up with. Even if you know what your issue is and you theoretically know how to solve it, you may find that you are unable to actually take that advice or to continuously use it.

I find that an easy way to combat this is to think of the reason why you want to write in the first place. Do you use it as a method of venting? Do you plan to turn it into a career? Do you just enjoy creating something? Reminding yourself of your initial motivation may be enough to get your fingers typing.

Alternatively, it may be okay if it’s not enough. If it’s a simple hobby or coping mechanism, you have no obligation to churn out finished projects. Write when you need to, and when inspiration strikes. 

Whatever your circumstances are, I hope that some of these tips helped you. Writing is a beautiful activity that can bring around great feelings of satisfaction if you are able to overcome the initial insecurities. Do whatever is right for you, and keep writing!