Now, before we begin I’d like to preface this by saying forcing yourself to write will rarely end in satisfactory writing.
However, if you do want to write but aren’t in the mood, these 7 simples steps should guide you in setting the mood for writing.
I hope you enjoy!
This might sound silly because all you’re doing is sitting behind a computer or sitting somewhere with paper in your hand. But, without stretching you’re not only going to be stiff, but you’re going to reduce the time in which you sit down and write.
|Stretching is important because it relaxes your joints, taking the strain off your muscles giving your mind a clear ease to focus on what you are writing. The last thing you want to do is get up while writing because your neck is sore*
(* I’d like to make a small note here saying that every 30 minutes to an hour you should get up to stretch and walk around because it is unhealthy to sit in one spot for long periods of time).
2. Create the Perfect Sound Environment
Now, this one is going to sound odd and difficult. However, with loud distracting stimuli or the off-pitch humming you can hear from the fridge, you’re never going to be able to concentrate effectively.
Now to combat this, I’d advise investing in earplugs, headphones or even a white noise machine. These are self-controlled items that can cancel out or quieten obnoxious noises. Personally, if my trusted earplugs aren’t efficient enough, I like to plug in my headphones and listen to 10 hours of static or white noises. See below for links to each of these suggested items.
Now, let’s be realistic too, affordability or other reasons such as safety or caring for others can get in the way. In that case, I’d offer you a pillow to scream into in frustration, because sometimes you can’t win. That is a joke if you cannot tell.
Realistically, I’d suggest conditioning yourself to the noise. Every time you write a successful sentence with obnoxious stimuli in the background, reward yourself. It’ll train your brain to be able to write effectively with the noise in the background. But, ‘Pavlov’-ing yourself isn’t quite easy.
3. Clear Your Environment
Let me be blunt- how are you meant to study with a trashed environment? Do you think clutter and mess will get you in the mood to write? I don’t think so.
Clean! Clean it all, make sure you have a less distracting environment, give yourself the space to spread out and focus.
When you are done set the mood, light some candles, open the window and get yourself a cold/warm beverage.
Treat yourself, because brilliance doesn’t stem from nothing (To be honest, it could. I haven’t researched that enough).
4. Gather the Needed Supplies
You won’t write on an empty stomach, get a snack and water. If you already have it on hand, it will stop you from getting up and ruining the flow of writing.
Gather everything you need to write with- whether that is a laptop or paper. Get sticky notes to write your thoughts on, get pens and paper. Get everything you need, because as I said before, it stops you from getting up and disrupting the flow. Because we all know, once it is in your head that you forgot it, you have to go get it.
Imagine this, you’re sitting down to write, you have everything you think you need. You start writing, when you suddenly realise- you’re missing your trusted glasses! How could you forget?
You can’t write without them!
You go get them, walking to where you last had them when you notice a cup sitting where it shouldn’t, so you move it. On the way, you notice the TV is on, your favourite show is playing- an episode you haven’t seen before. When did it come out?- It doesn’t matter, you might miss it, so you sit down. Hours pass and you’ve long forgotten to write.
It’s a horrible story, but it could be you. Don’t be this person.
5. Make Yourself Comfortable
Get in your pyjamas or your fanciest clothes. Whatever you find most comfortable and sets you in the mood to write.
This is here- as obvious as it is -Is important because you don’t want to sit down, and halfway through writing realise your shirt or pants are digging into you. It disrupted this heavily mentioned flow I’ve been discussing.
Flow is incredibly important, the best writing stems from an authors flow. Where the words just pour out at their own rate. It should feel like you aren’t even writing the story, the story is writing itself. This also applies to essay writing, non-fiction or other such novels.
6. Outline Your Goals
Set a realistic goal, outline what you are wanting to achieve out of writing. Don’t just sit down to write, because if you do this, you can sit down and write two sentences and walk away.
Be clear and concise.
“I want to write/edit a single chapter today” “I want to finish this scene”. Make sure you have exactly what you want to achieve today, as well as long term goals.
Don’t set unrealistic goals though, make sure they are easily achievable in a single sitting, otherwise you’ll overwork yourself, causing unnecessary stress.
7. Last Resort – Bargaining
Every time you finish a page, you get a treat. You are rewarding yourself, as well as giving yourself the initiative to complete your goals for the sitting.
If this is not rewarding enough, provide yourself with a long term reward. If you complete your desired goals for the single sitting, then you are allowed a significant reward. This could be a desert or going out somewhere you want to.
Set the terms and conditions of your writing. This sounds technical, but it is quite simple if you take it and modify it to your liking.
That is all for today!
I was hoping to have this post give serious advice in an almost comedic way.
As I’ve noticed that posts similar to this (different content/themes) demonstrated an almost-too serious way of expressing helpful advice.
No one wants to sit through a massive page of writing on dead-pan answers. So, because of this, I attempted to give it a bit of humour.
If you enjoyed this and found some helpful advice, feel free to comment down below. If this doesn’t work for you, you can comment on my Instagram @in_another_realm.