Author Toolbox: Set the mood, Use the Senses

First off, I’d just like to say that our ability to create stories from NOTHING already shows that our brains are pretty cool places. I’m gonna show you a few things to help your brain get in the mood for writing. This will help with both word count, AND helping to make your writing time feel like your special relax/happy time.

Did you know that when you study for a test, you should chew a gum, or suck on a candy, or drink a drink that you’ll be able to drink while taking the test because it’ll help you remember what you studied? How cool is this?? (I think it’s pretty cool).

Do you ever hear a song, and suddenly you’re sixteen, with your newly-minted driver’s license, singing your heart out after school? What about breathing in a smell, and it spinning you back to a specific moment in time?

EACH of these things can help us with our books. Here are some things to try:

  1. A playlist to help keep you in the mood when you’re away from your ability to write, and to help you get in the mood when you have a chance to sit back down.
  2. A specific scented candle or essential oil, or yummy lotion (don’t eat it though) or something else scented, that you use/light/smell when you sit down to write.
  3. A snack that makes you think of your book. Something that’ll be easily accessible as you work through your MS, and then later, as you work through edits.
  4. A mood board, or a random bunch of images that help you stimulate character and story.
food lifestyle yummy europe
Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

All of these things stimulate our senses, and help our mind connect a feeling, with a project. This is especially helpful when we’ve taken a long break from our work, and are now back for edits. Or for those of us who have lots of mindless tasks to do, but want to stay focused on our story while we do them. Light up that coconut-scented candle, and pop open your macadamia nuts, get those steel drums on in the background and dive back into your beach adventure. Or yanno, whatever you decide on, although, I’m now kinda feelin’ the beach.

These tricks are something we often talk about, but don’t often do. I know this works, because I still think about Clara when I have a hot chocolate (Has to be Love), or Brian when I hear Wonderwall (The Next Door Boys), or Hailey when I wear my brown boots or Chucks (Love Blind), or Honor and Sawyer when I eat dark chocolate almonds (Hard to Love). Which makes me wonder why I don’t ALWAYS do this.

In our author toolbox, the more options we have for tools, the less likely we are to find ourselves in a writing funk. Also, any excuse to have snacks, a new journal, or a fab candle is a good one.

Happy Snacking/Listening/Smelling!

~ Jo

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