Three days missed. I haven’t written in three days.
The obvious excuse is that I’ve had a busy weekend with friends BUT I just talked about the danger of making excuses, didn’t I (https://deannamross.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/5-things-about-writing-daily/)? 😀 So let’s talk about 5 ways that YOU (and I… let’s face it, it’s easy to make those excuses into habits) can get back your motivation / muse – in no particular order.
1) CRANK UP THE TUNES – If you’re like me, chances are you wander around life narrating to yourself (real or imagined things) but you also contemplate the soundtrack of moments (real and imagined.) So break out your favorite jams or music related to what you’re writing about and DANCE IT OUT! Not only will the movement of your body get your energy levels up and break down the dull-drums you may have accidentally fallen into – but it will get the creative juices flowing.
2) TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY AGAIN, LET’S CELEBRATE! – Okay, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve really been kicked in the knees once you’ve broken a writing streak. Either by choice or the death of your muse, a lose of momentum can be a MAJOR hit to a writer. However, there are two ways you can look at it: Mourn the end of the streak or Celebrate the fresh start.
You don’t have to wait for Jan. 1st to make a fresh start or a vow to reach a goal. Today is the first day of your journey all over again! Write down your goal to make it real and share it with others to hold yourself accountable. The Wharton School in Philadelphia did a study on the “fresh start effect” and it turns out that a really great way to get a burst of energy for your current project is to embrace today as a “fresh start.” I’m serious, go read about it: http://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1901
3) STRIKE A POSE – If you haven’t yet been introduced to Amy Cuddy, I’m happy to point you in her direction. Check out http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are This video addresses how our body language can help shape the feelings we have about ourselves and what we’re doing. It’s not always easy to open up physically and it can seem odd to those of use who curl up around books and keyboards all the time BUT give it a try. I’ve actually found that a few minutes each day changing my body language usually improves my mood and helps get me ready for some powerful writing … and I’m talking about 2k-5k pretty easily. Amazing amounts of it. So try it. Improve your body language and improve your mood so you can write boldly!
4) GET OUT, RIGHT NOW – Go do what you LOVE to do (well, second to writing, of course.) Go find your peeps, hang out, get some fresh air, go for a walk… just do what you normally do and the muse will find you. I use to laugh about this fact: My highest desire to write usually comes when I have the LEAST amount of time to do it. House is messy? I’ve taken on a new web design or graphics project? Kiddo has a weekend of events I can’t miss… THAT is when I’d be inspired with a burning need to write. No time and tons of muse.
The truth is this: it isn’t that I’m looking for an excuse to avoid all the other things I need to do (though maybe it’s a bit true with laundry – I do hate that); it’s just that inspiration doesn’t happen when you stare at a blank screen. The white glow isn’t full of life – it’s empty potential but it doesn’t inspire. LIFE is where inspiration is. Go out and be sure to live a little today.
5) WEAR A LITTLE GREEN – I know it sounds crazy, but the color green actually nurtures creativity! Check out the research: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/03/15/0146167212436611.abstract Even a glance at the color green while working on something can help get the creative juices flowing again.
We all have bad days. We all mess up and find life eatting our face from time to time. Professional writers try not to let that happen but here’s a secret I’ve learned from a few I know (it happens!) Just don’t let it stop you. Improve your mood. Get away from the desk for a bit. Get your creative juices flowing and then sit back down. Ass in chair – words on page. Greatness awaits!
Until next time!