Alright, so, I have no doubt that you’ve. heard about Covid 19 by now (to that I attach, stay safe, but also be considerate of others; it’s a crazy world we live in). I’m not sure how things are working for you right now, whether you’re required to stay inside, or you’ve chosen to-or maybe you’re like my family, and because of my parent’s jobs, life has to go on. But even with all that said, I think we can agree comfortably that almost all places have either closed/ or just aren’t the most ideal place to be right now. So, I realize that for a lot of people, that means that they aren’t going to be in their writing element/ finding inspiration is going to be a bit of a tricky task. So I decided that now would be a perfect time to put together a list of ways that you can stay motivated to write, even when you’re usual inspirations/motivations aren’t accessible.
1. A Playlist
There’s a good chance that you’ve already done this, but I thought I’d go ahead and add it to the list. If you don’t have one, take time to put together one; if you were to picture your writing in a movie (or documentary), then what would be the soundtrack you’d like to see go with it? North Central University wrote an article (most likely for their students), discussing how listening to certain music can help with studying. Their top suggestions were something with 60-70 beats (Beethoven’s Fur Elise), or if you’re not a classical type of person, New Age or ambient EDM.
Science of the People also wrote about how it helps with memory. They cited a study completed by Kansas Medical Center, where they investigated the effects of music and the cognitive effects of it. In it, they drew this into how Doctors also use music to help with memory loss. Which, all of these are extreme cases, but, if you were listening to specific music before, I have a suspicion that what you were writing before, might just be triggered by the music you play. And if you weren’t listening to music before this, now’s a good reason for you to give it a shot.
Personally, I love Pinterest. It might be a dangerous place for me to try and exist (oh the memes, I love a good meme), but I also have several pinboards for my stories and writing tips, (so I can download the memes to my phone-I’m shameless), that I can add to, or revert back to when I’m on the struggle bus with inspiration. To be completely honest with you, I didn’t really consider it as something for my stories until I was talking with other writers who suggested it. Now I have boards where I store my character’s clothing/appearance inspiration, and aesthetics.
Lengthy spill out of the way, I will say you should check out The Fake Redhead, she has fabulous writing prompts (I don’t think she’s solely on Pinterest, though you can find several of her prompts on there), they’re really funny and make for a great read. My personal favorite pass time last year was stringing them together trying to make a coherent story (chefs kiss, let me tell you).
3. Set up a designated writing space
I don’t know how some people go out in public and write their stories; I’m a paranoid baby, who is embarrassed by her work (irony, I know, it’s irony). I also can’t write very well when my families around-again, easily embarrassed. So really, I write in my room. On my bed. Under the covers. With a lock on all my documents-OKAY, I’m getting off-topic, (but like I said, paranoid, prideful, those are two ‘P’ words to describe me). So anyway, I’ve been working on the idea of having a designated writing spot, other then my bed, I have a desk, which, funny enough, I’ve been using since yesterday-however, beforehand I would make my bed and try and make it comfortable enough as a writing space. I added these really cool bulb lights, and then when I moved over to my desk and bookshelf, I decorated those (a little, it’s a small desk). Just having some organization and having some of my favorite little nick-nacks surrounding really does help. Not to mention, I think there is something to say about having a designated workplace, that you look at, and it reminds you to write-HOWEVER
4. Switch it up.
If you’re a writer looking for their inspiration in the outside world, then it might be best to take some time to move your room around, or even moving to the living room or dining room to write; the change might give you a fresh outlook. If the weather’s nice, maybe try opening a window (or if your window’s always opened, try closing it). WGU also suggests finding better lighting for your studying (which can of course, be applied to your writing as well). I don’t really have science behind this tip, it’s just a suggestion that sometimes I, even the awkward paranoid writer uses from time to time. I understand that your space may be limited, but that’s when it’s time to either break out Pinterest again, and get some tips, or even just switch something up that’s noticeable, like, as aforementioned, your lighting or maybe try a new candle.
5. Work on a writing warm-up.
I don’t know if I’ve used this before, but it’s probably one of the best ones that I have; mainly because it’s not mine, but my friends. Before they write, they have a wind-down/ warm-up for it. Which makes sense, because when you’re in sports, you warm-up, and work to get yourself motivated to do it, so it’s really the same effect with writing. Essentially the idea is, you have a list of things you complete every time you get down to writing. I.E, maybe you read a chapter in your favorite book, or a book closely related to what you’re writing, and you have your favorite snack and beverage before you do so. Maybe you do a yoga routine or even watch a movie or tv show. Ultimately, how you prepare to write is up to you, but I do think that it’s something to look into doing, just the idea that after some time, your brain will use these as triggers to settle down and focus, instead of wanting to go a million miles a minute.
I just want to clarify that these tips might not work for you, but if you have some tips that worked for you, please feel free to share them! I think ultimately it will vary from writer to writer, and maybe you just really need your favorite spot for inspiration. Above all else, however, I’m truly praying for you. During this time of uncertainty and concern, I pray that you and your family remain safe. Remember to follow the suggested protocol, try to keep others safe who might be highly contagious, and above all please, be polite to others. The saddest part about this isn’t even the disease itself, but rather how people are reacting. Be kind and courteous, think before you make large purchases of items (no shame, just remember there are other people), be courteous to retail employees (it’s already been a time for them), and if you see an opportunity to help- do it. I understand (especially as somebody who has an autoimmune disease and asthma) that it’s a dangerous time, but again, if the opportunity presents itself-help, that’s really the only way we’re going to actually make it out of this situation okay.
SERIOUS PARAGRAPH OVER, I hope y’all have a ginchy week, and I’d love to know, what’re your motivational writing tips when you have to write at home/or need inspiration?