9 Things that Can Get You in the Mood to Write

What do you do when sitting down to write but have writer’s block? Instead of waiting for another time to be inspired, here are nine steps to get yourself in the mood to write and meet your goals.  

Schedule time to write.

Many times our intentions don’t meet reality. To be a successful writer, you must reserve time to write. Determine your most effective and creative times in the day, and schedule some time when you are at your best. If you are just starting out with a writing routine, it’s okay if you can only grab small pockets of time. It all counts. Schedule it. Then honor that time.  

Start with free writing.

This is writing before writing. Some call it “morning pages.” Call it a brain dump if you like. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes to record any thoughts or ideas you had earlier in the day. Put to paper whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial. These words don’t have to do with anything you had planned to write for the day – you have permission to make it something fun and off-topic.

Another free writing exercise could be to buy a creative writing journal with prompts. Or, simply use this prewriting time as your personal journaling for the day.

You may or may not use anything you have written, and that’s okay. Don’t overanalyze this. The purpose is to have time for uninhibited writing to open the mind creatively.

Read other words that inspire.

Is there another writer that you aspire to? Before your writing time, read something they have written to stimulate your creativity. Begin with poetry if that moves you. You can dig into personal journals and reread your own words for inspiration.  

Use sensory clues.

In a recent webinar I attended, the guest host explained that sensory clues are one way to transport yourself into writing. Lighting the same scented candle each time you write can create an association between that scent and your writing project. Lighting that candle each time you sit to write can carry you back to that world where you are writing. (This would especially be effective for fiction writers!)

Listen to music or other white noise.

Many people listen to instrumental music while writing or studying, while others prefer white noise. I love music, but it is distracting when I write. Instead, I created a playlist on YouTube of long audio videos with background sounds like thunderstorms and rain, coffee house din, or nature sounds such as babbling brooks or birds. Amazingly, it keeps my mind on track and prevents distractions.

Find the right place to write.

Where are you writing? If in a cramped space, it may also cramp your writing style. If you have a laptop, move to a different place every time you write, whether outside at a shaded table, in the air conditioning on a comfy chair, or away from home in a coffee shop. Sit in good natural light, not a dark space.

Buddy up.

Do you have a family member or friend who supports your writing? Ask one to be an accountability partner. Allow them to give you feedback on what you wrote.

Find a writing community for encouragement. If you use Twitter, search #writingcommunity, #writercommunity, or #writeruplift to see what others are doing. Facebook groups are also a place for meeting others and learning from one another. I belong to the Ultimate Blog Challenge group and now have other blogging friends. It has become a fun, supportive group of bloggers who read your work and leave encouraging comments.

If you are already in an established writing group, find or set up a Zoom room where you can write in the same room with others (without talking) for a certain amount of time as accountability.

Eliminate distraction.

For some of us, we must eliminate any possible disruptions before sitting down to write. For me to be focused, I cannot do laundry on writing days. The bell of the dryer and taking time to fold clothes and towels pull me away long enough to lose my train of thought.

Other times, I have to get the chore or errand done first. In fact, as I was writing this post earlier today, I stopped once my outline was finished and left to do errands. Essential things needed to be completed today, so I took care of them to eliminate that distraction. With it off my mind and to-do list, I can fully concentrate on my writing.   

Celebrate your work.

Just like anything else, celebrating your progress and successes makes a difference! Did you finish the hour you scheduled for writing? Reward yourself by getting yourself a fancy coffee or watching an episode of a favorite show on Netflix.

Writing can get done around our lives, even if we are busy. Understand that as life can change, our writing routine can vary too. Continue to set attainable goals. When life happens, don’t delete your writing time. Simply adjust.  

3 responses to “9 Things that Can Get You in the Mood to Write”

  1. What a wonderful list! The scented candle sound awesome. I often get hit with an idea I want to write about when I can’t sit down. I may be in the shower, making lunch or driving a car. I need an Alexa to start a blog post right then and there for me!

  2. Thank you so much for this Angel. I am bookmarking this post and coming back to it often. There are so many good reminders here, that I need to take into account. I used to write morning pages and then gave it up for a while. It definitely got the creative juices flowing. I’m going to start up again. And yes, never write and do laundry at the same time! LOL!

  3. This is a great list, and I have often suggested many of these in blog posts that I have written about writing. I really like that you’ve put all of this together in an organized and easy to follow list. This is a great blog post for teachers and facilitators of writing groups to share with their writing students!

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