In an earlier post, I talked a little bit about the importance of routine in order to support a steady output of words for your WIP. But even when you get the routine down, it can be tough to get into the writing mindset when you sit at your computer. Some of us end up scrolling Pinterest or Twitter for a while, trying to get into that drafting mood. But there’s not always time for that – sometimes you need to start producing content, STAT!
This week, we’re going to look at a few steps that can help you get into the mindset of your current WIP quickly and easily each day.
1) Listen To A Song
Most likely, “just any song” won’t do. But if you’re like me, music is a key part of your writing process, and thankfully that means a whole world of inspiration is open at your fingertips. If there’s a particular song that reminds you of your story at large, a specific character, or even the glorious conclusion of your journey, giving it a quick listen before you boot up your manuscript can often put you in the perfect mindset to continue that draft.
Some writers have a very, very firm no-editing policy before a draft is completely written. However, if you can silence that inner editor and read the last page that you’ve written as a sort of refresher on the direction you’re moving in, this can be immensely beneficial. Not only does it serve as a good recap – like at the beginning of a TV episode opening – but it also puts the narrative and character voices right in the forefront of your mind, so you don’t have to revive them in midstream.
Additionally, consulting story notes, if you have them, can serve as a great refresher of where you’re going next as you launch.
3) Light Up a Candle/Wax Warmer/Diffuser
This is one of those tactics that needs to have a bit of prework, but in my experience it’s one of the best ways to reawaken my stream of thought on any particular WIP. Studies suggest the olfactory senses are some of the strongest related to memory…and I don’t know about you, but, like the scent of clean linen hearkening back to summer, or cinnamon and nutmeg bringing on that melancholic yearning for the holidays, certain smells have the power to make me want to revise drafts I haven’t touched in a good year or more. If you have a scent you really love, try plugging it in consistently while writing – and then let the power of scent-memory bring you back into your scene setting every time!
4) Grab Your Drink of Choice
Ah, the ages-old author debate: coffee or tea? Surprisingly, it doesn’t really matter. Many writers simply find that having hydration on hand, something familiar and delicious, helps them to lock their minds in and feel like it’s time to get to work. Maybe it’s that feeling that you can’t get up until the cup is drained. Or maybe it’s the sense of familiarity with one’s drink of choice. Whatever the reason, dry grabbing a full cup before you sit down to heighten the writerly mood!
Do you have any methods that have consistently helped you to get into the writing groove each day? Share them in the comments section below!