Yesterday I experienced one of those light-bulb moments–you know where you get an idea that lights up your mind, and it is all you can see. In that moment, I thought: This is what I should be working on. I need to chuck my current book and go with this idea. And for a few minutes I entertained doing just that.
That is, of course, a mood. Moods can be strong, they can be light, they can be silly and playful or dark and discouraging. But they are just that– simply a mood. They will pass. Writers need to know this. They need to know how to use the mood and not be a victim of it.
Moods are a form of distraction. Something to take us away from where we are at the moment. I believe half the time distracting moods can be from the devil, or our particular devils that each of us have to deal with. Writer Deborah Chester has recently written a really great post about Staying on Track, and I recommend you read it. She lists a number of distractions writers face. I’m adding moods to the list.
How I handled the mood yesterday was to first realize that was what it was. Honestly, this took me maybe fifteen minutes, and I did it reluctantly. I wanted to cling to the view that my idea was akin to striking gold. It wasn’t until I woke up this morning and it was gone that I realized I had almost fallen victim to the mood’s pull.
I took a look at where it had come from. I realized that I was unhappy with how slow my book was moving–or seemed to be moving, because I kept re-writing. I realized, too, that I tend to see all the things wrong with my story, rather than inventory the good points. And there is the other life, the life of the woman, Nana, homeowner, wife, with all of her creative ideas that clamor to be realized. As I write this, I’m hurrying because grandson is soon to appear on my doorstep, and I’m to refinish a precious antique door that I love. And I do so want another cup of tea.
Thankfully, the writing of this post has put me back on track. I’ve seen things I can do in the writing of my novel, and things I like about it. My characters are right at my shoulder, smiling at me and clapping.
Now I’m challenged and encouraged– a new mood. There. The next time I find myself victim of a distracting mood, I do what every writer does. I’ll write about it and write myself into a focused mood.
Happy writing, painting, gardening, living today!