In the Mood

Some days, I don’t want to write.

I know I should try to, that’s part of the reason I join anthologies like Death by Chocolate or writing challenges like ROW80, to have people hold me accountable, to get my butt in the chair day after day and put some words down.
But, some days, I’m just not in the mood.  On those occasions, here’s what I do to get myself motivated or to, at the very least, keep my head in the game.

 
1. Music – Dissent, the 5th Day of Sacrifice story, is stuck at about 1,200 words right now. I haven’t worked on it in weeks because I’ve been writing my anthology story and because I don’t know what I want to happen next.  This is a story I need to have out by the first of the year, so yesterday in order to get my brain thinking about it, I listened to my DoS playlist in the car while I was driving everyone to work and school.  It’s amazing how music can get you in the right frame of mind when you associate it with writing a similar story or a previous story in this case.  I had Halo and Bleeding Love on repeat all day. Just thinking about my characters in a video montage sort of way (does anyone else do that or am I a weirdo?) I jump started my enthusiasm for the series and came up with ideas for the end of the scene I’ve been stalled on.

 
2. Sexy New Ideas notebook – Again, I may be a weirdo, but I never have more new ideas for other stories than when I’m trying to complete the one I’m supposed to be focused on. I combat this by keeping an Idea Notebook.  If I can get the idea down on paper, my mind can let it go.  It’s like a promise to myself that I will come back to it later. Of course, there are always more ideas than there is time to write them, but I’ve also found that sometimes the ideas can be combined together – genre mixing at its finest!

 
3. More than one project – I’ve tried only working on one story at a time. It’s not my style.  I find that if I have multiple projects to work on – I usually have 3-4 going at once – and can add a new paragraph to one that is not my main focus, that it does two things: Like with the SNI’s I can get nagging conversations, scenes and descriptions out of my head and it gives me a confidence boost.  Nothing makes me feel better about myself than writing does, so it stands to reason that if I’m feeling crappy and distracted with my main WIP, getting some words down on something else I’m working on makes me feel like I’ve done something, made some progress in my own little world.

 
4. Read/watch TV – Sometimes when I’m supposed to be writing, doing either of these things can feel decadent and like I’m wasting time.  Really, though, they can help – if you stay on genre. I have a particularly hard time writing action/fight scenes – with the Zellie books, I often turned to reading the Vampire Academy books and to watching teen shows like Roswell, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Kyle XY – books and TV shows that are aimed at the same audience as the Zellie books are and contain both a paranormal romance aspect and a lot of action.  With the DoS stories, I can’t tell you how much Supernatural and Nikita have helped me come up with ideas for both characters and new ways to write fights.  So, yes, I’m being entertained and slacking off a bit, but I’m also consciously  studying the ways other writers do what I’m trying to do.

 
What sort of things do you do to get in the mood to write?

This blog is cross-posted on the Death by Chocolate blog and the PacNWYA blog.

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