Thursday, September 8, 2011

In the Mood for Writing

Being in the mood to write, whether it's starting something new or working on a current wip, isn't always easy, nor does it happen when needed.  Life, with all its ups and downs, good times and bad times, can get in the way of the ability to be create.  Whether it's family needing our emotional attention or we're in a negative place about our writing, there are times when the words just won't come.

We all go through it.  I'm currently in that 'can't write' place and am struggling to get out of it and get something positive going.  It's not that I haven't written anything.  I just haven't been able to write the things I should be working on.  It happens to all of us.

So what's a writer to do when creativity has taken a holiday?  Here are a few suggestions that might trip the creative wire.

  • Take a walk--While this wasn't possible for me even last week, thanks to record-breaking high temps, it definitely is this week.  Once upon a time a walk quite often did the trick.  It's definitely worth a try, especially before winter makes an appearance.
  • Put on some favorite music--I did this the other day while cleaning and sorting and washing dishes.  It helped the time spent on mundane chores go quickly.  Before I knew it, I was working with a smile.  And if that doesn't help get you in the mood...
  • Create a playlist--Whether it's for your current or next WIP, music can spark ideas and characters without breaking a sweat.
  • Brainstorm--This is usually one of my favorites.  In fact, I've discovered that brainstorming another writer's story is more beneficial than brainstorming my own.
  • Read--Just for the pleasure of reading and without thoughts of learning from it, enjoy the enfolding of a favorite book written by a favorite writer.  Lose yourself in the words and the story and forget about your own.
  • Experiment with a new genre--Don't worry about whether it's good or bad, just take the spark of an idea and go with it.  Don't even think about submitting it, because this story is for you and no one else.
  • Meditate--Give your mind a little time to rest, with no thoughts of story or character or writing.  Or anything.  Don't know how?  Do an internet search for *meditation* and learn!
  • Exercise--Sometimes the brain just needs fresh blood.  Writers lead a sedentary and cerebral life, and we need to get up and move.  If aerobics or calisthenics aren't your thing and make you think of torture, put on some music and dance!
  • Understand that you're not alone--Inspiration can hit a wall.  When you think you've done everything you can, do a search for *writing when you're not in the mood*.
  • Take a break--If, after trying all of the above, you still find writing difficult, it may be time to put it aside for a short time.  But don't let it go on and on.  Set a specific time to mentally get away from writing--a week, a month, three months--and then stick to it.  When the time is up, spend a day or two (no more) about what you want or need to write, and then start writing.
Now it's my turn to take my own advice.  

"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."  E.L. Doctorow

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