M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest

For years, I’ve been researching and testing writing tips.

From the « how to write 5 000 words an hour » to the « how to wake up early to write », I feel like I tried them all.

All those tips have common grounds, such as « have fun writing », « setting realistic writing goals », « stick to your writing routine ». You know the drill, fellow writers, I just know you do!

However, when it comes to finding some tips on how to create the writing mood when you’re NOT in the mood, it gets trickier.

Here’s what I do when I have to write and I need to bring back the writing mood, even though I’m not in the mood.

This happens especially when it gets darker earlier when all the autumn colors have fallen. Ah, dear November!

1. Self-Care First

My first tip, it took me a long time to accept it, if it makes sense to say it like that (francophone trying her best to write in English here!).

I think it’s fair to say every artist, every aspiring author, every published writers feel it at some point or another. Pressure.

We’re pressured by the industry to get something new, something magic, something mind blowing out in the world. And sell the heck out of it. Fast.

For aspiring authors, I feel like the pressure is mega-ON, more than ever before.

The self-publishing industry and other little things like the climate consequences, such as a pandemic, floods, storms are changing a world that was already changing fast.

It’s overwhelming.

Writing to our wit’s end, every weekend, every night, in the early morning even, is a bit crazy. But we love it! More so, we want to make it…!

While we work hard, we tend to ignore the growing tiredness or the signs of an incoming writing burn-out.

At long last, we succeed in meeting our writing goals…
…only to find out the day after the joyful « The End » moment, that we’ve morphed into a yelling/crying/angry/depressed mess.

In short, exactly what happened to yours truly not so long ago!

Take care of yourself, dear fellow writer. Not only do we deserve it, we need to be better writers!

Here’s my favorite self-care things to do:

  • Take a long walk alone
  • Play a video game
  • Read a novel
  • Watch a cheesy cozy murder mystery series
  • Cook something worth serving at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year Eve’s altogether just for me, or the immediate family, just because it’s Tuesday night and I can.

It took a while, but now I take the time to relax, to think, to get bored even without thinking « you should be writing loser ».

A great step forward, if I may humbly say so myself!

black friday

2. The Right to Not Write (but not for too long)

I need to write. It’s part of my identity. The ideas hamsters going round and round in my brain and I don’t want to miss out on any of them.

However, I learned to switch off the computer, put away the notebooks and take a writing break.

It helps to avoid the writing burn out I just talked about for sure, but it also creates a sense of… longing, can I say that !?! It sounds weird. Maybe it is. You tell me, fellow anglophone writers!

Anyway, what I mean to say is taking a short break from writing usually boost my writing motivation. But.

But I also, very-very often, took too long of a writing break. It went from a couple of weeks writing break to a couple of years.

More than likely, I will not turn any author’s world upside down by saying it’s very hard to get back to writing after a very long pause.

The words are harder to find, it takes longer to find our old writing rhythm, or find a new writing rhythm.

I find it’s like running. Taking up running at first is hard, but it’s new, it’s fun, exciting. Starting to run again is so tough, because you know what to expect plus you’re not in shape anymore, you’re quickly out of breath, etc.

For me, writing break are important but I never let myself say « oh, one more day » anymore!

3. Lights! Actions!

Self-care stuff? Done. Writing break? Done. Now, we’re supposed to be pumped up to write, right?

If your answer is yes, I bid good day and I hope this post helped you get back into the writing mood.

If your answer is no, thanks for sticking around!

Another strategy I use to write even if I’m not in the mood is trying to write in another spot each day. When it used to be possible, I would go to a coffee shop, where I’m rarely as productive as I would be at home.

I create a fun, comfy ambiance, either with a light garland, candles, or both.

Also, I allow myself to write what I want for an hour, before getting to the planned work.

Yes, I consider writing like my job. But it doesn’t mean it should get dull or frustrating!

The Writing Mood

No « how-to » is gonna work like magic.

We do live on one planet, but in so many different worlds, with different circumstances, and different streets to roam.

What works for me, in my little quiet and peaceful francophone bubble, lost between scattered hills and fields and orchards, might not work for you.

I simply hope this post was useful, one way or another.

Fellow writers from everywhere, I wish you good health and all the good words.

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