two pencils

Getting in the Mood

A while ago I took a stand-up comedy class, and while it was a fun/terrifying experience, it taught me something extremely important.

Sometimes, you need to take a moment and set the mood.

I was in the middle of binging Homeland when I started writing for the class and fun fact: it’s hard – nigh – impossible to be funny when you’ve been watching the least-funny* show in history. What I needed was a rest. Give me 15 minutes of Parks and Rec, Brooklyn 99 or The Good Place (color me a big Michael Shur fan) and boom! Mentality changed, the world could have humor again!

If you’re ever facing a similar situation, for the life of you, you can’t get into a writing mood – take a step back. What needs to change?

  • Do you have clear expectations of what you need to accomplish?
  • Do you need to read/watch something along the same lines to get you in the right headspace?
    • When I needed to write a PSA script for one of our clients, I watched a handful of public service announcements on YouTube to get the right tone since it’s different than what I do on a daily basis.
  • Would it help to pick up a pen/paper versus stare at a blank screen?
  • Do you have a nagging task that just needs to be taken care of, like calling back repair pro or confirming dinner plans?
    • Or maybe you’re just constantly refreshing the San Francisco Addy awards announcements because you know you won something…but what?!**

It also could be that it’s just the wrong time of day to get into a creative headspace. When do you normally have your best ideas? If you have some schedule autonomy, try blocking time during that period of your day for creative adventures. Your coworkers may be annoyed with a rescheduled meeting, but they’ll appreciate your thoughtful work a whole lot more.

The last little nugget of advice I’ll give – sometimes you just have to force yourself. It might be the wrong time of day, wrong headspace, wrong everything. But set a timer and for just 10 minutes write. Get as much out as you can – at this point, it’s about quantity, not quality. In fact, likely, it will be horrible, you’ll hate it. But it’ll be down on digital paper. Plus, the old adage is “writing is rewriting” – so you’re halfway there.

You’re not a terrible creative. You just have a bit of a block, we all have those. Take a moment, reset and try again.

What are other things that get you in the mood to write? Drop us a line. We want to know!

*Ok, maybe not THE least funny, but there is zero comedy in it.

**Update: we won three in San Francisco and one in Atlanta!


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