Another November has rolled around, which means…

Daylight saving time started unless you live in Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Did you remember to set your clocks back?

?????????We did. Unfortunately, my internal clock didn’t get the message. I’m up at 4 a.m. because my body knows it’s really 5 a.m.

November is also National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Currently 258,733 novelist have officially signed on to complete a first draft novel with the goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month.

Not to be outdone, NON-fiction writers have their own challenge, Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN), also known as National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo)

Other writers become caught up in the spirit of the writing challenge and commit to penning 50,000 words this month through their writing groups.

Flipping the calendar to November is the signal that the holidays are fast approaching. One look at a Christmas Countdown clock and my pulse accelerates in anticipation and dread.

Fifty days until Christmas? Yikes. I’m so far behind.

If you celebrate Hanukah, your clicking counter is less. Hanukah is much closer than you think. For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukah converge. You’re looking at less than twenty-four days to be ready! Click here for an accurate count.

Holidays can disrupt your regular writing schedule and stifle your  muse. Participating in the NaNoWriMo challenge may be all you need to motivate yourself.

On the other hand, even if you’ve joined NaNoWriMo and set a goal, you may need to give yourself a nudge to get into writing on some days.

With so many holiday preparations pulling for my time and energy, I find when I do notch out writing time I need to psych my muse into cooperating.

Four methods work to put my brain in writing mode.

1.  Establish a ritual  – a trigger to use right before you begin a writing session. Something that will coax your brain into the writing routine and you won’t have to make a decision on whether or not to write. You just will.

A trigger might be moving into a special area to write or sipping a cup of tea.

toby 2I brew a cup of Irish breakfast tea or grab a water bottle and go into my office.

Naturally, Toby follows and positions his very large body in the kneehole of my desk. That’s a trigger for me, but not one you can share.


2.   Begin a writing session by quieting your mind.
Tis the season to clutter our minds with lists and busyness. Pause. Do some journaling or read a devotional to clear your mind before you start writing.

3.  Engage in physical activity.
I’m not suggesting a full workout at the gym here. Only a few minutes of sun salutation and deep breathing yoga exercises or ten minutes of calisthenics to jumpstart the endorphins that lead to creativity.

A  walk can work as well. That’s what I do. Toby and Buster love when I hook up those leases and walk to work through plot issues or jog my creativity.

4. Involve your senses.
Play soft music or light a scented candle, even a dish of scented soap on your desk can be a trigger for the muse.

YOUR TURN: Do you have a trigger that puts you in writing mode?