Some days you sit down to write and the words come instantly to your mind. It’s as though you can’t write them down fast enough. You’re inspired and the rush is high. You’re in the writing mood.
But what about those times when you’re not in the mood to write? You know you should write, or maybe you even want to write, but for all your trying and tears, you cannot get the words onto the page. They simply won’t come.
How can you get into the writing mood?
How can you instantly be in the right frame of mind to get those words down?
While there’s no hard and fast rule on how to do this, there are a few tips and tricks to help you. But, as with anything else writing related, you have to find out what transfers you into your story world effectively. The tips that work for me may not work for you and vice versa.
But, here it goes. Three tips that help me instantly jump into my story world and make me want to write.
I am a music geek so I had to place this as the number one suggestion. But, for me, music is one of the most helpful tools in getting myself engrossed into the story I’m penning to paper. I almost always create playlists for my story or at least have designated songs that match the theme or feel of my story. This is so helpful in placing me directly where I want to be — right next to my protagonist in the middle of his or her story world.
If you love music as well, I would highly suggest picking out songs that remind you of your story and then playing them when you’re struggling to feel your story. In my opinion, this may be one of the fastest ways to get your head into the right writing place you want it to be. And, pro tip, if you’re struggling to find music fitting your current WIP, type in the feel you’re going for along with “ambient” into YouTube. You can find awesome music there just waiting to be matched with your story! (I typed in “spy ambient” and found some of the coolest playlists!)
The people around you as well as where you are plays a lot into your current mood and how you feel going into your writing. For me, I oftentimes enjoy writing wherever my family is around because I love the feel of them around me as I’m writing. However, a lot of people need silence to write (as do I at times) and prefer a secluded, silent place to write. Finding the place you love best and sticking to that place can help you instantly get into your story when you return to it time and time again.
I’ve heard of some people who enjoy writing in coffee shops and, whenever they go, they find they can write the best there. Personally, I would be too distracted surrounded by all those people and would prefer my quiet bedroom or, as I stated above, wherever my family is. But wherever your favorite place is, I would recommend going to that spot when you’re struggling to write. Just returning to a spot where you know you love writing can do wonders in engrossing you into the world you’re trying to get into.
3. Trigger Senses
Lastly, I want to talk about trigger senses. Trigger senses are anything that reminds you of a time in the past. Remember the last time you smelled a certain smell and suddenly you were reminded of a memory you haven’t thought of in ages? Strangely enough, that same thing can happen with your writing. Maybe you burn a candle every time you write, or you listen to the same music, or you sit in your favorite window seat. Doing something every time can help you in instantly getting into the writing mood.
Our brain can be quite smart, sometimes smarter than we give it credit for. And by repetitively doing something in your writing schedule it can help you to instantly jump back into the world you’re creating. Maybe you drink the same cup of tea when you sit down to write. Maybe you drink tea only when you write. Eventually this could become a trigger sense. You drink a cup of tea and suddenly you’re thinking about your story and wanting to write it.
No joke. This has happened to me and I know it can happen to you. If you create a schedule around your writing, even if it’s just something small like drinking the same beverage, you can help yourself instantly get into the writing mood next time you’re struggling.
Those are my three main tips on how to instantly get into the writing mood. But I also want to take a second to point out that if you’re struggling to get into the writing mood, or maybe you’re just not feeling your story today, maybe you need to take a break. Take a step back from it and enjoy some fresh air. Go outside, read a book, relax.
Sometimes that’s just as beneficial to your writing than actually writing.
Or maybe you need a burst of motivation more than anything else. Too often I find myself scrolling Instagram or Pinterest in search of that motivation and inspiration, maybe you do the same, but I would like to encourage you not to. While this may, in fact, give you a burst of creative energy, it’s short lived and artificial. I find what truly gives me the lasting energy that I’m looking is by reading a great book (maybe going back and reading an old favorite, that’s what I’m currently doing), spending time with family, playing a game/getting your mind off writing, or any hobby that I enjoy doing. Anything that will fill my creative well.
Usually my goal in doing this is to completely get my mind on something else. Just forget about writing. Then, when I return, I return with a fresh perspective as well as renewed energy for my writing. However, other times, I use this time to think about the scene I need to write next. Sometimes all I need is to think through it a bit better before jumping into it and I’m ready to get the job done.
Either way, whether you decide to think about it or forget it for a time, or whether or not you decide you need a break, remember that your story is worth it. It’s valuable. And it needs you to complete it. Don’t feel discouraged simply because you’re not in the writing mood right now, we all feel that at times. Okay, a lot of times. But it’s that way with a lot of things we do and we press on anyways and get the job done.
You can do it too.
Do you struggle with getting into the writing mood at times? What helps you find that inspiration and motivation again? Have you ever experienced trigger reactions?
8 thoughts on “How to Instantly Get in the Writing Mood”
Mm, yes, triggering senses is a brilliant one. 😀
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And very true! I notice it within my own writing how much it helps!!
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Wonderful post!!! (YES FOR MUSIC. 😀 )
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Thanks!! (YES!!! Music is the best thing ever!! XD)
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This is so true!! I’m with you 100% on the music. I’ll listen to a track months after I’ve finished a project and instantly be transported back to that storyworld!! I’ve never tried the triggering your senses part, but I think I should now! And, vice versa to what you we’re saying, sometimes it’s better to switch your surroundings. I concentrate best at my desk, surrounded by my writing things, but lately I’ve been getting stellar word counts and really digging deep into my characters’ brains in bed at night! Who would’ve thought?!🤣
I’ve also found that pretty writing things help you *want* to write. 🥰 Cause let’s be honest, I’m way more apt to pick up a journal and scribble away then stare at a blank screen. 😆 And your favorite pens! Gotta have those.
Amazing article, Allyson!!
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Oh, I know what you mean!! I think certain songs will always make me think of certain stories that I’ve written. I listen to them and I’m instantly transported to when I was writing it and it makes me want to read the story all over again! XD Ooh, yes! Trigger senses are so cool! Usually I write wherever there’s an empty spot but lately I’ve been trying to write only at my desk and make it a habit. I think I’m already seeing a difference! And, I mean, tea always makes me want to write. XD Haha! That’s awesome! I actually love writing before bed too! (If I’m not too tired and out of it, that is. XD) Something about it all being dark and quiet amplifies my character’s voices.
I’ll second that thought! XD Pretty writing things always inspire me to write and write better. Sticky notes, pens, notebooks… oh yeah! I love it!
Thank you so much!! 💙
I really hear you with the triggers! I really need to revamp my writing triggers!
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Yes, they’re so helpful!!