Still Here, Still Writing • Writing Thoughts

Whew.

It’s been a while.

I haven’t updated this blog in… what, two months? Maybe two and a half? I haven’t really been keeping track, but it’s always been in the back of my mind. What’s stopped me from posting? A couple of things; stress from working two jobs and a total lack of motivation and creativity, but mainly my failure and the embarrassment that tags along with it.

You see, in my last few posts I joyfully announced that I’d soon be finished my first draft of my first novel, in doing so fulfilling a lifelong dream of being an author. Not being a successful author, or an author who even sells a single copy, but an author who has finished writing a book, because that’s what writing a book makes you; it makes you an author. I wanted to be an author before my momentum and motivation came to a stuttering halt, and I’ll still want to be an author after the next inevitable bout of writers’ block too.

Ultimately, it’s down to me. I haven’t finished my novel yet. I let the pressure I put on myself by setting a deadline completely derail me. I lost faith in my plot, in my characters, in my ability as a writer, and the saddest thing is it’s all so damn predictable. I’ve written several posts about it on this very blog; I’ve posted articles on tips to beat writers’ block, how to stay motivated and persevering even if you and everyone else doubts that you can do it. But in the end, it’s you and the keyboard. And sometimes knowing how to beat something isn’t the problem, it’s making yourself do it in spite of your fear of failing.

I have fear, but fear doesn’t control my dream, it just can’t. Completing this is too important to me. I’ve had two months of excuses and feeling sorry for myself and doubting myself more than I ever have before, but now it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get writing again. And the next time this happens, because it probably will, I’ll do the same.

Bottom line: Writing is hard, but nothing worth having ever comes easy.

5 Ways To Get In The Writing Mood

It can be very hard to turn off from technology and work commitments and get yourself in the writing mood, but when you’re dedicated to following your dream and becoming a writer, you need to set time aside.

Someone on Twitter put it really well: see it as a daily appointment that you must always keep with yourself. When you think of it like that, it’s much easier to set other things aside and commit to a daily word goal. Make it a priority.

Other than this, there are a few other things you can do to get in the mood to write, write, write:

Sound 

I don’t just mean music. I always fall asleep to the sound of heavy rain (I really dislike silence, it just doesn’t work for me) and I’ve found that anytime I hear it I get very relaxed. I get day-dreamy. It’s a calming, creative space that I’ve created for myself and it’s allowed me to explore a range of new sounds as well.

Nature sounds can be very helpful when writing particular scenes, for instance ocean noises would help place you in your created environment if it was set by the sea or seagull sounds for a scene at the docks. Play around with different settings and see if it helps you.

Get uncomfortable 

This might be the worst advice for someone who likes to write buried in a mound of pillows and fluffy blankets, but I always write better when I’m just a little uncomfortable. It feels more like work that way. If I’m so comfy I can feel myself getting sleepy, chances are I’m going to fall asleep when I should be writing.

get in the writing mood

Whether you’re perched on a hard wooden chair or you’re just a little too cold, try being a bit uncomfortable and watch your word count rise.

People watch 

Sometimes writers forget that thinking is also part of the writing process. You don’t need to have your fingers balanced on a keyboard or a pen in your hands to be in the writing mood. Thinking through a particular scene or a character’s development in itself can make you want to sit down and write.

After all, there’s no point being in the writing mood if you have no inspiration and nothing to write. Spend an hour or two in a café or at a bus station and watch how people move, how they react to the mundane, how they walk down the street and what quirks they have. You might be surprised how excited you’ll be to write it all down.

Set up a routine 

This is an important one if writing is your day job. It can be so easy to get lost in the dull hours of a day and you might find yourself taking “a quick break” only to be engrossed in a Netflix show a few hours later.

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Whether it’s in the morning or at night time or half an hour at a time during meals, make a routine and stick to it. If you write best in the morning, sit down at your desk first thing and bang out 500 words with your breakfast. Whatever works best for you. Make sure to do it regularly, as if it was a job you can get fired from.

Make a steaming cup of tea 

I’m Irish so I believe a cup of tea solves almost every problem, but it’s not just the warmth and comfort of a steaming mug that helps, it’s also the act of tea making. Filling the water and waiting for it to boil, then waiting as the tea bag steeps is a good time for you to go over some of the previous day’s writing.

get in the writing mood

It allows you to think what you’re going to do next and chances are it’ll be a few moments of solitude for you as you throw off sleep and start a new day (and a new page).

What gets you in the writing mood? What works for you? Let me know in the comments!