Other than stare at your feet
Happy Monday, writers and readers!
You know those writing days when your writing is flowing like a magical waterfall out of your fingertips and onto the page and you’re practically crying with joy at the brilliance that is you?
Yeah. Those days don’t happen to me all that often, either.
Most days, sitting down to write is something that makes me happy–but not always. There are days when it flows like magic, days when it flows a little less magically, days when it’s hard, and days when it’s downright near impossible.
Today I want to talk about what to do on those impossible days. Generally, you have two choices: 1) Keep writing or 2) Don’t.
If you feel you can power through, by all means power through. But there are days–and I know I can’t be alone in this–when I really just can’t sit there any longer trying to squeeze more out of my deadened mind and onto my blank screen.
So these are the things I do to help me get my mojo back.
1. Take a walk Just getting outside–especially when you live in a city and/or work in an office building all day–does wonders for your mind and health. No matter the weather. Fresh air, sunshine or rain, feeling your feet move under you–just go.
2. Take a bath When searching for a new apartment last year, I was shocked at the number of places we looked at that had no bathtub. That’s a deal-breaker for me–but not, apparently, for a lot of people. I think we should all take more baths–they’re good for your muscles as well as your mental health. Get some epsom salt, light some candles, close your eyes and just let yourself relax for once.
3. Read a book Reading is a more indirect way to enhance your abilities as a writer than actually writing, but to paraphrase Stephen King, there are no good writers out there who aren’t also readers. Also, reading is the best.
4. Cook Getting your mind focused on something else–like following a recipe–is a really great way to give it a break from whatever current plot problems are plaguing it. Bonus: when you’re done, you have something delicious to eat (hopefully).
5. Clean I generally hate cleaning. Except when I’m doing it to distract me from something else. I like to put on some Netflix in the background and just get in a cleaning zone. This activity comes with two bonuses: 1) if you’re watching a well-written, clever TV show, it could spark an idea for your writing, and 2) your apartment is actually clean when you’re done.
6. Exercise Akin to taking a walk and taking a bath, this is something that’s really good for you both physically and mentally. Getting your endorphins and strengthening your body for those marathon computer sessions is only a good thing. I also find that my best ideas, without fail, come when I’m moving. Which is why, against all advice ever, I always keep my phone at the edge of my yoga mat–so I can tap out my stroke of brilliance before I forget it.
7. Socialize Life is fodder for writing. If you don’t talk to anyone or experience anything, your writing is going to be boring. Go out and talk to people. Maybe it’ll spark an idea; maybe it won’t. But having friends is good for you.
Those are my tricks for getting the muse to come back to you. Do you have any of your own? I’d love to hear them!
Image found here