In the Mood to Write
In previous blogs, I discussed the source of my story ideas but I haven’t addressed the process of getting them out of my head. While my methods are straightforward, they do have some nuances.
A big part of the process requires me to be in the right mood in order to write well. I also require this uplifting mindset to properly edit, market and accomplish other book-related tasks. To fully explain this topic, I need to wind the clock back to the beginning of my writing adventure.
During a fun period of unemployment, I found myself with a lot of time. I spent the majority of this time thinking up business ideas and trying to turn them into reality. From an early age, I wanted to be a writer and unemployment offered me the opportunity. On, 3/12/2016 at 4:29 PM, I took the leap.
I began typing for six hours a day. I knew the plot, and the words flowed. However, a few months into the process, I noticed a pattern. There were times that I could not write well. Eventually, I learned that I needed to have the right mindset in order to write well. As the months went by, I worked hard to figure out the best way to get into the mood. It begins with a conscious decision to write.
I begin by testing the waters and read what I’ve written. When I am confident, I begin making corrections. If I encounter resistance, I stop. This has been a hard lesson. I have done a lot of damage by writing or self-editing in the wrong mindset. It took months of self-editing cleaning up the mess I made by forcing myself to write.
What about the bad parts of writing? Once in the mood, I can market without getting angry and I look forward to finding errors while self-editing. I now understand that writing is different from other activities. For example, I don’t need to be in the mood to pull weeds. I simply push through the negative emotion and begin a mindless unpleasant task.
Strange side topic. When I’m at work and I have to create a technical document, I find that I need to be in the mood to be creative. Upon deep reflection, this has always been the case.
If I cannot get into the mood to write, I find that a distraction can help and I often watch YouTube videos. When enough time has passed, I go back to self-editing. When all seems well, I switch to writing. Usually, the words flow and I appreciate the joy associated with creating something new.
When I am not in the mood, I feel a conscious block not to begin. It feels like a physical barrier in the form of mental resistance. This feeling is different from the negative anticipation of going to the dentist. The desire not to write is more physical; like being hungry when no food is available.
How do I know I am in the mood? Simple. I appreciate the moment. Writing is fun, exciting, challenging and rewarding. In a way, I turn off the non-creative part of my mind and become the magical author. This person has the freedom to create an imaginary world. I put myself into the story as the character. What are they thinking? Why did they do that? How should they react? What would really upset them? As I self-edit, I concentrate on sentence structure and logic. I also think about the big picture and how each sentence relates to the overall story.
Writing is a privilege and I am lucky to have the drive, talent, and means to enjoy this activity. It is something I look forward to doing, yet it is something that I cannot always get into. A true enigma.
You’re the best -Bill
May 22 2019
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