Sometimes, we're just not in the mood... to write (get your mind out of the gutter, you naughty, but surprisingly, relatable person. Let's be friends).
It happens to the best of us. It happens to ALL of us. We've all been there.
The very idea of sitting at the computer, with our work-in-progress file open, and our fingers on the keyboard just plain seems unpleasant and awful. Writing is hard, it is, and playing Candy Crush or watching season after season of DEXTER on Netflix seems so much easier...sooo much easier.
So what do we do? How do we get in the mood... to write?
Step 1) SET THE SCENE. Where do you usually write? Your desk? In your room, in bed? If so, why not change it up? Move to a different room, a different scene, or go some place new entirely--ever try writing at Starbucks? McD's? I have, and it works wonders. I've even found I can write more than I normally do at places like Get Air (an indoor trampoline park). Weird, I know, but it's true. Sitting at the same desk, in the same room, looking at the same scenery, can get old very fast. Spice it up. Move. Go somewhere different. Get adventurous. Try it. You might like it.
Step 2) MUSIC. Treat yourself to some new tunes. Find a song that is special to either you, your characters, or the "feel" of your book. Writing a fast-paced scene? Then pick out a face-paced song. Writing something serious, sad, or romantic? Find that right song. Now listen to it before you place your fingers on the keyboard. Hum, if you don't know the words. Belt them out, if you do. Pretend you're on American Idol. Go for it. It will get your heart pumping, which will excite your brain. You're like, "Yeah, right. This is weird advice." Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it. You'll see.
Step 3) DANCE. Crank that music up and move your body. Swing your hips one way and then swing them the other. If the song you had picked from above is slow, then move slow. Close your eyes. Let the music fall over you like a blanket. If the music is upbeat, then move that body! Jump around. Pretend you're in a concert posh pit. Go for it. The very act of moving your body gets the adrenaline going, and when you get your body moving, your brain will follow suit. Music does wonders for the body, mind, and soul. It will do wonders for your writing as well. Trust me. Come on, no one will see you dancing and singing at the top of your lungs. I promise that you will feel SO good once you let go of your inhibitions.
Step 3) WRITE A LITTLE SOMETHING. Now it is time to turn that music down low, sit your butt in the chair, and place your fingers on the familiar keyboard. Start off slow. Make the goal for the day simple. Let's say, the goal is to write 100 words. Some call it the "dribble method" (your mind just got dirty again, didn't it?). The "dribble method" is for you to just let the words flow. They don't have to be good, they just have to be written. Here's the thing about the "dribble method"... you may find that you can't stop at just 100 words. Sometimes all it takes is writing a small amount to get the creative juices flowing (stop it, you). For me, If I can get a paragraph written on my work in progress, most likely that one paragraph will lead to two and so on and so on. Take it ONE. WORD. AT. A. TIME.
Step 4) REWARD. Did you reach your 100 word goal? Did you find yourself writing even more? Very good. Now, it's time for a reward. YAY! What do you like? Chocolate? Caffeine? Jewelry? Whatever it is, give it to yourself. Obviously, we can't do this every time we sit down to write (or can we?), but when we're stuck, really, really, stuck and can't seem to find ANY desire to write at all, then I find the reward system works VERY well. Write a whole chapter? That deserves a cupcake from my favorite bakery. Write two chapters and a blog post? I think I could use a new pair of shoes. Make your goal reasonable and make the reward match those efforts. Sometimes, to force ourselves to be in the mood, we need to bribe our muse. There is nothing wrong with that. Just like bribing a toddler to do his business in the potty for the first time, we writers can apply that same concept to ourselves to get our fingers spitting out glorious words. There is nothing wrong with this.
Step 5) THERE IS NO STEP FIVE. You wrote. You did. Maybe it was 100 words maybe it was more, but you wrote, and chances are that now you've written something, you will want to do it again. Now, keep in mind, that the more you write, the more you will want to. You will have developed a pattern. That's what we all hope for--the desire to write and stay in the writing mood. This is a good thing. Repeat steps one through four as often as you need--every day if you must-- to develop that habit.
Don't let too many days go between setting the scene, singing, dancing, and writing. Being creative is in our blood... sometimes it just needs a help hand to get our writing libido going.
Share your thoughts. Let me know what gets you in the mood to write. Remember to leave a comment and let me know you've stopped by. Once a month I pick a random commenter and send them a special goodie in the mail. That winner will be announced next week. It could be YOU... if you leave a comment.