As much as I adore writing, there are days when I feel too blah to do it. I’ll have great characters, an amazing plot, and a clear direction on how I will marry the two together, but the blahs take over. So, I came to realize that preparing to write has to become as important as the actual writing sometimes. So, here are some tips that can help writers avoid the writing blahs.
1. Take a walk or do some yoga before you start writing. Get yourself in the right head space.
2. After your walk or yoga, take a shower/bath and spritz yourself with your favorite cologne/perfume. Put on something nice AND comfortable. Treat writing like it is a date you are about to go on.
3. Set aside two times a day to write. That way, if you miss the first time, you won’t beat yourself up because you know that there is still another time slot available. A groovy plus that can happen is – you write during BOTH time slots. If you can do that a few times per week, well, you will really feel good about yourself.
4. Reward yourself if you accomplish your weekly goal. Now, I’m not saying go out and buy yourself some Prada every time you write 750 words, but I am suggesting that you go buy yourself a nice Gourmet Cupcake if you keep your writing goal for a whole week. Or go Goodwill Hunting or Consignment shopping in the fancy side of town and see if you can find that jacket that would normally sell for $75 for a huge sigh inducing $9.
5. Create a writing retreat in your writing space. Buy nice candles and a miniature waterfall that sits on your desk. Splurge (even if you must save for months) and buy a nice, comfy chair. Go to a supply store and buy all of the cool pencils, pens, folders, highlighters, Post-its, etc. that make your desk look ready for creating. Make sure your lighting is perfect, and for goodness sake, make sure that you are not sharing that space with someone else. If it is shared space, try to make appointments for the space so that you aren’t in the space at the same time as someone else.
6. Finally, at the end of the day, return the space to its previous order. Don’t leave it messy. That way, when you go there the next day, it will still be inviting and enticing.
Those of us who write, often complain that we don't have enough time. I do it. But when I really think about the hours of the day that I spend checking email, Facebook, Twitter, mindless television -- I realize that I do have time. The real problem is not the time, but the motivation. So I have decided to try a little trick. Instead of saying I don't have time to write, instead I am going to start saying to myself -- until you write something, anything, you don't have time to eat, drink, sleep, grade papers, watch television, talk to the people you love, answer the phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Basically, using the words of Celie in the Color Purple, until I do right by me...well, I will not give my attention to ANYTHING else. Sounds radical, and I am not sure if this mind trick will work, but I am going to try it. I need to tell myself that nothing is more important than my need to write. I need to convince myself that I am a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, teacher, friend, etc. when I write. I need to remind myself that I feel good when I am putting words to paper; when I am allowing the spirits dwelling in my head to come alive on paper.
So today, I make that commitment to myself. We'll see how it works. Oh, and I would love to hear how you make that time for your writing.