Happy November my friends! Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo? If you are, let me know and keep me updated on your progress. I’m gonna be your own personal cheerleader! Go you! You fabulously writer-y you! This is going to be a big month for me so I won’t have the time. Sadface. However,
I know the pain (and excitement!) of staring at the blank page.
Or blog post text box as it were. I was having that very problem the other day and I kept getting more and more frustrated. Open blog post, write a sentence, open facebook, click on links, giggle at cute cat pictures, visit youtube, giggle more, open blog, write a sentence, twitter, Burn Notice on Netflix, rinse and repeat. Does that sound familiar to anyone else? Three hours later and you’ve written the hell out of three paragraphs. Three measly paragraphs.
Then I remembered I can create the mojo.
You’re either in the mood to write or you aren’t. Just because you aren’t in the mood doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. You can find ways to get in the mood. Put on some “Let’s Get It On” and… well that’s a different blog post. Everyone has things that get them in a creative mood, find those things. I have a list a mile long of things that help and generally by the end of that list you’ll find me in my writing groove.
First things first. Mix it up.
If what you’re doing now isn’t working then it’s time to try something new. Easiest way to do this: Change up your surroundings. I don’t mean go write somewhere else, although that’s not a bad idea, but I want you to create an atmosphere around you of creativity.
For me, this usually involves opening a window and letting the fresh air in. Burning a stick of my favorite incense, lighting a delicious smelling candle, and spritzing the room with whatever essential oil I’m in love with at the time. You can see how this creates an atmosphere of relaxation and focus.
Wear the lucky underwear or nail polish. Listen to that song that always makes you want to write. (Mine is Bon Iver – Re: Stacks. What’s yours?) If all that doesn’t work I move on to step #2.
Sometimes you just gotta totally check out for an hour or two and then come back to it. Instead of trying to break through that wall, you go and take the scenic route around it.
Taking a long, relaxing, bath can do wonders. It can allow you to soak in inspiration or clear your mind so that when you come back to writing it’s with a clear head. Taking half an hour to be mindfully distracted can also help. Mindfully distracted? What is that you ask? It’s being distracted on purpose. Instead of allowing yourself to be distracted while the entire time you’re thinking I really should be writing… Go forth, seek a distraction, and enjoy every minute of it without guilt.
Go back to the writing when your brain is ready.
Ditch the distractions.
I know, this one is a toughy but you’ll be happier if you don’t have 3 gazillion tabs open in Chrome. Or even one. Completely close it and don’t open it again until your writing is done. Facebook will not collapse without you, I promise. Phones too, don’t think I forgot! Put your phone across the room and don’t touch it no matter how many notifications you get. No TV either. If you’re listening to music try making your own playlist instead of listening to Pandora, that way you won’t be tempted to get distracted from your writing to change songs. Instrumental songs and soundtracks are even better to get you in the zone.
When it comes to writing, you’ve got to allow your creative self to guide you and she can be a demanding biddy who exacts payment in massive amounts of coffee and good music. Make her happy and you’ll find it easier to get over those hurdles that stop you from writing.