Keeping Your Mojo

MV5BOTczNjIwODM2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzczNDE0NQ@@._V1_SY105_CR27,0,105,105_AL_Tomorrow I have the honor of reviewing a new series I read over the weekend. Six books in one weekend. God Bless Amazon and the Kindle Reader. I’d finish one, et voila! Presto-chango, here’s the next one!

I fell asleep about halfway through the sixth one last night and, because I can’t stand to have something unfinished (where did that come from?) my brain woke me up at two a.m. and I got up to finish it.

At three I finished the laundry I had haphazardly shoved in between books over the weekend, cleaned the kitchen, my desk, straightened pillows, made coffee, kissed my husband good-bye with a traveler’s mug of coffee for him and an elaborate lunch all packed up nice and neat, complete with a little love note (my June Cleaver moment met with complete befuddlement), wrote my review, took a shower, made the bed, fed the dogs, and dragged the trash cans out.

It is now 7:00 a.m. and I’m just gettin’ started.

Maybe I should do this more often. Take an entire weekend, be a couch potato, eat nothing of any nutritional value at all, let my muscles atrophy, ignore emails and phone calls, and just immerse myself in another world for three days.

It certainly worked for me. I have more ideas for one of my books, the humor I absorbed over the weekend gave me a new direction, and the fact that my house is in relatively good shape (with the laundry done? unheard of), I have nothing to interfere with sitting my butt down and writing.

But it got me to thinking. We all need certain things to be right before we can really produce. Most say, “Nonsense, it’s work. You just sit and do it.” I say hogwash.

My brother, when we were little, could not sleep if a door was open; the closet door was the culprit most of the time. He simply could not relax until it was closed. It’s sort of an OCD thing, I guess, but I’m a bit the same way. When the stars are aligned…

Sure, I can write anywhere. Starbucks, on a bus, in a car, on a star, in a bar (Dr. Seuss, anyone?), but I write best when my desk is clear, the bills are paid, and a candle is going. No music, no email pings, no phones ringing…and the cat curled up in her special spot behind me. My own version of the closet door having to be closed in order to sleep.

Now, my husband, on the other hand, has to have music blaring. Not just quiet music that can serve as background noise – oh, no, songs that have lyrics attached to them. Songs that I have to sing along with (with which I have to sing along?). Songs that bring back memories, make me want to dance, cry, or sing. Songs that interfere with the quiet, introspective creative process.

I have no idea what I’ll do when he retires. I may have to rent an office somewhere. Since his office is across the hall from mine, and the dogs are always trailing him, I’m doomed.

But that’s a few years out yet. In the meantime…I read a post that claimed this Wonder Woman, who had just given birth six months ago and home schools two older children just managed to complete her third full-length novel SINCE THE BABY CAME.

While I closed one eye on that one (and I have to admit the post did what it was supposed to do; I looked up WW and her mentor and there were many, many discussions within the writeonsisters community about this feat), I did read her blog further with some hints about producing great quantities of words in a short amount of time. Nothing earth shattering: plan what you’re going to write, then just sit and do it. Figure out what time of day your brain is at its peak and focus your energy on that time of day, etc., etc. etc.

But here’s the thing: We have to do what’s right for us, for our lives, for our process. She obviously had help. Three children at home? Three full-length books?

She must have lined everything just right. That closet door thing.

It got me to thinking: how could I be most effective, get the most bang for my buck (time)? After all, I just spent a three-day weekend completely immobilized. There’s words to be written, folks!

The decks are cleared, the candle’s lit, the cat’s in her spot, paperwork’s done, and I’m way ahead of the game today. I’m fired up. That scene that didn’t work? Gotta go. That plot point I wanted to incorporate? Not needed. That character that was one-dimensional (and I didn’t realize it until I read the books I just reviewed)? I know how I can give her more spunk.

I wonder if I should deliberately get up at two a.m. every day?

Nah.

But I’m going to ride this high as long as I can. Just make sure that closet door’s closed.

Author: Kathy Weyer

Kathy Weyer is a reformed Human Resource executive and Marriage and Family Therapist. She has worked in several hospices as a grief and bereavement counselor.

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