Some days writing is as easy as breathing. But not all days. Not by a long shot. There are those painful days where you sit and stare at the screen begging the words to come (that’s what she said (sorry I had to)). You know where you want your story to go, but the thoughts aren’t forming solidly enough to record.
Those days suck beyond all reason for a writer, especially a writer like myself who only has so much time to devote to actually getting words on paper. Or screen. I work a full-time job and am a mother to a very energetic three-year-old. So I really only get to sit and concentrate on my stories after he goes to bed and before I pass out for the night. I’ve got to take advantage of those precious few hours.
Which is why the days where my characters won’t talk to me become extra frustrating. It feels like a waste of a night if I don’t write at least a little bit. That is why I’ve developed a few strategies for when that ideas just won’t flow. That’s right, I get all Barry White on my ass and start to set the mood.
First, there is the location. Usually I like to curl up on my couch with my laptop to write. But if I’m having a night where everything is distracting me, then I move the party up to my “writing room.” Okay, it is actually a corner in the room we use as closet, but it counts. It is just a desk, a comfy chair I upholstered, and a cork board. Mostly it is just far away from the TV, toys that need to be picked up, and laundry that needs to be done.
Next comes the inspiration. Sometimes it comes in the form of music. I usually try to pick one song or artist that is kind of the muse for each book. For The Arrangement it was John Legend, especially the song All of Me. For Standby it has been Adele. And no matter what story I’m working on, for some reason Thirty Seconds to Mars’ version of Stay just does it for me Seriously, check it out:
Other times I troll Pinterest for pictures of the actors/celebrities I use as character inspiration. Just looking at their pictures can help me get in the their head a little easier. If I need sex scene inspiration there is no better place than (very very NSFW) ladycheeky.com. I especially love the black and white pictures Elle Chase posts, they are great for those moody sex scenes everyone loves.
Finally, I need to be comfy. That means PJs. And though I write romance, that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around in silk chemise and furry high heels. Nope. It is yoga pants and my husbands t-shirts all the way for me. And usually a snack. Probably chocolate. And coffee. Coffee is the writer’s equivalent of Viagra, it always gets you going.
If none of that works, I just walk away. It’s not going to happen every night. Some nights you just have to cut your loses and try again the next day.
Tell me how you get in the mood in the comments.