Creativity · Writing

Setting the Mood

I’m not sure if other artists do this, but I like to set a mood for writing. What I mean is, I prefer to have a certain type of environment around me when I write certain things. It doesn’t always work out the way I’d like it to, but I try.

For example, when I’m writing something light – a blog post, social media tweets or ‘grams – I like it to be bright and sunny. I generally want my writing for these areas to be light and fun, encouraging, motivational, so bright and sunny helps to get my head in the right place.

Then there’s fiction. I tend to lean to darker stories, obviously, and so I like to write my horror, sci-fi, and speculative stuff at night or early in the morning when the house is quiet and it’s dark and moody. I also like to write somber fiction when it’s raining. A heavy downpour is fantastic, but even a gray drizzle will set the right mood for me.

A few years back my partner and I were able to take annual trips to South Florida and stay at a nice little hotel right on the beach. I’d get up every morning with the sunrise, have a cup of tea or coffee, and write in my journal. It was incredibly motivating to write out my personal thoughts and ideas in that setting. Mornings on the beach can’t be beat.

But the funny thing is, I planned to work on my of my short stories during out week-long vacation, but I couldn’t get anywhere with it. Why? Because the environment was too damn pleasant. Salt air, the sound of the waves, the bright blue sky and warm sun…it’s not conducive to a dark story about fear and blood. Lesson learned.

It wasn’t until I got back home – on a rainy evening – that I felt the right mood to tackle this particular story. And at home is where I finished it during a couple of cold, rainy winter nights.

Like I mentioned above, I can’t always predict or force the environment to be what I’d like it to be when I write. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it? But I make do. I try to take advantage of those rainy days when they occur. I try to squeeze in a few late nights every week. I get up early and greet the dark morning with a warm cup of something and a brain still half in bed. It’s not perfect, it’s not necessarily ideal, but I make it work.

I’m curious if other artists feel the same way. Leave a comment and let me know.


2 thoughts on “Setting the Mood

  1. Environment affects me too. My curtains have to be drawn & my door shut, and preferably my lights off (but that strains my eyes something awful). It has to be silent earplugs help, or quiet music which matches my story tone.
    If it’s sunny or raining, it definitely influences how my scenes turn out. Sometimes that’s good, othertimes not so much.

    1. I find it interesting to learn the routines of other writers. I haven’t tried earplugs yet, but I’ll have to buy a pair and see if they help on those days when I absolutely need to be in the right state of mind.

      Thanks for your comments.

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