Beating the Monday Blues

Mondays suck. Lets face it. But that doesn’t have to stop us from doing great things. We, as artists and writers, really need to give ourselves a bit of a schedule to follow. Some authors will find themselves needing a more strict and rigid schedule. Throughout history there are some authors who have stated that they wouldn’t let themselves do anything else until they had typed X amount of pages or written X amount of words per day. This can be quite a daunting idea for some us and for others it can honestly be nearly impossible. If we don’t have a set schedule at work it can be very hard to try and have a set schedule with out writing. This can lead us to breaking any type of schedule we may try to set. That’s not good at all.

Other of us (myself included at times) don’t like trying to demand ourselves to meet a certain deadline. Granted we may sometimes be under contract and actually have a deadline, but that doesn’t mean that we can just force ourselves to vomit out a certain amount of work just because it’s what we say we need to do. Part of this can be fixed with the inspiration I so love to write about. Even while typing this I am listening to music on my old Mp3 player to make sure I stay motivated despite the feeling of inspiration that I’ve had today. I have used the music on this player to help me write and focus on my craft for so long that I’ve had to change players three of four times because I’ve worn some of the others out and just ran out of room on one.

But we do want to continue performing our craft at the level we are now and we do want to improve. We may find it hard, or even impossible to do that if we let the world get in the way of our productivity. Yes, it’s Monday, and yes that means we are going back to work and/or school and are feeling the typical mourning over the loss of the weekend, but Mondays can be positive as well. Mondays can symbolize the beginning of a whole new week of work. This can be the week where we tackle that hard chapter and vow to gain something from it. Or maybe this is the week we complete that particularly hard painting or song. Maybe it’s even just the week we convince ourselves to pick up the tools of our trade and produce SOMETHING. Mondays can be real downers. They can kill our spirit and motivation and bring us so low that we don’t even have the ability to produce anything at all that week. But they can also mean a lot. They can be the day we start the ending to our latest novel, or start that new painting, or the day we start writing our own music instead of just learning what has already been done. Monday may come at the worst possible time, but it can also bring us a never-ending realm of possibilities. Don’t waste them!!!!

The Avoidance of Inspiration-killing Stress

Authors can seriously be crippled by the lack of a proper atmosphere. This is a huge helpful tip for anyone who hasn’t figured out the full deal for themselves, and a great pointer for someone currently trying to figure out how best to do their work.

Step #1; Find your happy place. Overlook the clichĂ© of that statement, it holds vast truth and importance. You have to find where the you write best. It may be somewhere quiet, it may be somewhere loud, it may not even be the same place all of the time, but you have to use it when you find it. While the place may take some time to find, you’ll definitely know it when you do. It will be the place your writing comes most naturally and easily, and where the flow of your words is best. The atmosphere must be perfect to get optimum work, for a lot of people anyway. Granted that, as much as anything else, can vary from person to person, it is something that absolutely must be paid attention to. Your work area is your happy place, your safe place, your haven, and it must fit your standards to the finest points. Whether you like it quiet or loud, bright or dim, crowded or completely empty, it must be the place that most helps you do what you do best.

Step #2; You must find your time also. Most people can write at nearly anytime, but there will be a certain time of day (not necessarily an hour or minute per se, but more a generalization like morning, dawn, dusk, afternoon, evening, night) that they find their work absolutely at the top of its game. This must be taken advantage of. That is the best way to deal with your day, and can even be a great stress reliever in itself. Just finding what time works best for you gives you an idea of how you can literally schedule your entire day around your writing and get top quality work without having to edit as much (which always helps in the end).

Step 3; Utilize every second of your time. Setting up a schedule will definitely help this, especially if you have taken the time to follow the first two steps. Going to your ‘happy place’ at the time that you have found to be your best work period is going to make you feel you have become increasingly accomplished in the craft, and help to complete your project as quickly as possible.

These steps are probably fairly generic to most people, but they can still be very helpful to new authors, and we can all admit that it never hurts to be reminded of such things. Life can cut its way in on us and ruin our mood and inspiration. Stress has killed more books throughout history than book burning protesters have, most likely, and we have to do all that we can to fight it at every turn. These steps will help most authors on their way to success (or at least completion of projects), and I really would like to hear what you all think about them. If they have helped, let me know. And if they haven’t let me know also, and hopefully you’ll share why they have or haven’t. And if you have any more tips definitely leave them in the comments, and of course you will get all of the credit. I look forward to hearing from everyone.

-Damean