Monday, July 9, 2012

Getting the Mojo Back

I've been struggling with my latest WIP. Nothing but love for the idea, but every time I sit down to write, it's been a chore.  Part of it is that I'm trying to write at home.  I can't seem to focus with a dirty kitchen or dust on the table or laundry that needs to be done or a closet that needs to be reorganized.  But I live in L.A. so we don't have quaint coffee shops.  We have annoying people who feel the need to convince everyone how important they are so they answer their cell phones in quiet coffee shops and have very loud, name dropping conversations.  So writing out is out.

I needed help focusing.  I needed to sit at the computer and tune everything else out.  One thing that I had gotten away from was burning a candle.  I don't know why this helps me focus on my writing, but it does.  Different scents for different stories.  This one is vanilla bean.  Although, I admit that I had a 4,000 word count evening with eucalyptus when I had a migraine two mornings ago.  So, vanilla and eucalyptus (just not together because that would smell gross).

Fab Crit Partner Colene sent me a link that helped get my mojo back last week.  It also helped me get to sleep at a decent hour.  But first the mojo.  It seemed so simple - know what you're writing before you write it.  How many of us are pantsers?  I started this as my NaNo project...and then got pneumonia so there went that.  When I NaNo, I have a loose idea of where I'm going. I have bullet points in my head to hit.  This wasn't any different.  For some reason, though, it wasn't working here.

I took the advice - as I crawled into bed, I started sketching the next few chapters.  When I say sketch, I mean bare bones with maybe a few lines of dialogue.  In ten minutes, I had filled two pages, front and back.  There were no characters in my head, nothing fighting for paper.  The chatter disappeared and I slept.  It was awesome!

Even better was my performance at my computer the next morning.  The words have been cranking out.  My count is rising.  I have my mojo back!!  A few minutes at bedtime sets me up for the morning (and helps me sleep the minute my head hits the pillow).  I still think I'm pantsing it, but with a topo map and a compass.

What about you - how do you keep your word count up?  Ever lost your mojo?  What brought it back?


  1. Yay for getting your groove back!

    I keep my word count up by plotting like a mofo. Sure, technically I had a lot of words in my first pantsed (new word?) mess, but they weren't consistent and they definitely weren't good. Plotting with Blake Snyder's beat sheet and having a specific scene in mind for each writing session means I can just focus on getting the words down rather than figure out what I want to happen.

  2. Glad the mojo is back! (And good to hear from you.)
    I went six months without writing anything. No ideas, nothing. Finally started working on an outline and four months later felt it was good enough. (Yes, four months.) Then I hit the ground running in June for BuNo and I haven't stopped since.

  3. Yay for getting your mojo back!

    I'm in a no-mojo place right now. I've been here before, and I'm trying to remind myself that the key is not to panic about it. Panic only makes it worse. I have to have faith that the words will come back.

    Nice to see you blogging again! :) Hugs.

  4. Been having trouble with my mojo too! I think I'll try that technique as well. Glad you got yours back. I'm looking forward to reading new pages!
    Been having trouble with my mojo too!