I already talked to you about how decluttering your writing space can help declutter your mind, but what can we add to our spaces to make them more conducive to writing?
This, I think, is part of a bigger topic about writing routines, but I want to talk to you about that Pavlovian response we get to certain stimuli that we come to associate with writing. And how we can be deliberate about creating those responses.
I know there are a lot of people that hate that NaNo happens in November—why have this challenge at such a busy time of year?! And I get it, but at this point Fall/Halloween puts me in the mood to write. I’ve been doing this for so many years that that association has been cemented in my head.
So, why not lean into that?
My desk has permanent Halloween lighting surrounding it. When I get up in the morning and the sun has yet to rise, I love the spooky lighting that these white and deep purple lights give off, even when I’m not writing something scary. It always brings me back to this time of year.
This year I also have an array of wax melts in a fall theme like pumpkin spice and caramel apple. These get melted every single time I sit down to write and it just fills me with the writing spirit.
And of course, the sounds you choose to fill your space with are also important. Most of the time I just use music, but I was also given a white noise machine last year and I like to keep it next to my desk for some fun atmospheric sounds while I’m writing. Not only can these noises signal to my brain that it’s time to write, but they can also help set whatever scene I want. And you don’t actually have to have a white noise machine to do this—there are several free apps for your phone or you can find similar things on YouTube. When I was writing a pirate fantasy a few years back, I found a particular video I liked with ship and wave noises.
I’m not saying that you should/have to use the fall theme to get yourself in the mood or that you need to use white noise to set your scenes. These are just examples. What I am saying is that you can use your senses to trick your brain into kicking into that writing gear. I promise this works. Pick a scented candle or wax melt you love and burn it every time to write. Pretty soon you’ll get the urge to write whenever you smell it.
Make your writing space look welcoming—like a place that you’re excited to sit down at every day, and you won’t feel dread when you think of going there but rather anticipation.
And if you like to have some sounds/music while you write, figure out now what will be the best to set the tone of your book. You’ll find that just hearing those songs or sounds will start to get inspiration flowing.
Do you have any special tricks to get your writer brain working? Have you, like me. come to associate Fall and Halloween with writing thanks to NaNo? What sensory experiences get your inspiration flowing? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!