How to Get into the Mood as a Professional Writer

Gillian Sisley

Sometimes crafting those sweet, sweet verses can be a struggle.

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Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

It’s not uncommon as a writer to feel like you’re waiting for the right inspiration to hit you like a bolt of lightning (Hey Thor, anytime now, buddy).

But reality is, if we want to make a living off of our writing, we can’t depend exclusively on “inspiration” to dictate when we write and when we don’t.

We have to be able to ensure a consistent flow to pay our bills and keep a roof over our heads.

That said, beyond the mundane realities, our inner writer is a very delicate being. We must nurture and feed it if we expect it to produce fruit.

As a professional writer myself, running a copywriting business full-time, here are my suggestions for getting into a quality space to make some word-play magic:

Go to your happy place.

This is a unique space for everyone and anyone.

The journey of exploring what this space looks like for you personally is both rewarding and at times a little tedious. But it’s important to experiment with which circumstances can contribute to the success of your writing.

My happy place looks like this:

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(Photo credit: Author, my dreamy workspace.)

  • A steaming cup of tea
  • Popping myself in my inspiration-fueled office (I like to brag about it a lot. It’s just so dang pretty.).
  • Turning on Spotify’s “Your Favourite Coffeehouse” playlist.
  • Magic time!

Expect for your process to look different than this, but also allow yourself to experiment with what others do to see if it’s a right fit for you.

Give yourself permission at times to write whatever you want.

In my everyday life, I do a lot of writing. In my business, I write copy for clients, ghostwrite blog posts and craft social media content.

Part of my business now is made up of writing daily on platforms such as this one, where I write personal essays and poems about a variety of topics, such as womanhood, entrepreneurship, feminism and relationships.

In my off-hours, I write YA fiction, with the goal of one day being picked up by a literary agent and published by a publishing company.

I also practice-write, generally through, my guilty pleasure: fanfiction. While I don’t often share this information with just I (you guys are special) I truly cannot express how much my writing has improved through writing fanfiction for years.

If I sat down to write my novel, but I’m feeling writer’s block and nothing is coming, I don’t chastise myself for popping into one of my fanfiction pieces for a few hours.

If I’m planning to finish off a personal essay, but my mind is wandering to another idea that has me jazzed, I’ll start writing that other idea.

I’m more interested in nurturing and fuelling my inner writer than forcing it to create something it’s not in-tune with to create.

As I make my livelihood off of my writing, I have to safeguard and respect my writing spirit.

Take note of which times in the day work best for you to write.

Some people are morning birds, others are night owls.

Everyone works on a different clock, just as everyone is at their most productive at different times.

Part of discovering yourself as a writer is discovering the times in the day when you are most inspired, and you create the most engaging, quality content.

While I let myself write whatever I want when I sit down at my desk, I’ve also identified that there are certain times in the day which work better for me for different types of writing:

The morning is for personal essays:

In the morning, after answering a few client emails but before jumping into my social media business, I write articles for Medium. I let myself write until noon, and I let myself draft as many articles as I want. One of which will become my daily article for that day.

I can usually come up with 3–5 ideas and draft maybe 1/3 of each article for my draft folder. It’s always good to have ideas in the bank in case of a rainy day.

The afternoon is for my copywriting business.

From 12–5 pm I work on business. This is my main source of income, and without it, I wouldn’t be able to pay my mortgage.

By writing in the morning, I’ve already gotten myself in the mood to work, and am already being productive (which, usually half the battle is actually sitting down at my desk to get to work).

The evening is for my YA trilogy or practice writing.

There’s something about the evenings that just allows me to disappear into another world for a few hours. This is the time of day when I find it easiest to slip into another dimension and explore the lives of these characters which are completely different from my own.

Final word.

As I’ve said, every writer’s process will look a little different for what is the best fit for them. This is my personal process, and is not a one-size-fits-all scenario.

That said, you can’t say something isn’t going to work for you unless you give it a shot.

If you’re still trying to find a nurturing and fruitful flow for your writing, consider reading more articles about how other writers’ days look.

Take the nuggets which speak to you, and let the rest fall away. Experiment with different times and different types of writing. Don’t feel you have to restrict your creativity to one sole niche or genre.

When we give our inner writer the freedom to explore and experiment, we often discover some pretty incredible things about ourselves.

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Professional writer. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about trending news, viral Reddit content, and anything else that tickles my fancy.

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