IWSG SEPTEMBER 2016 “Mental Games Getting Muse to Write”


Happy IWSG Day!

IWSG September 7th, 2016


#IWSG   Twitter Hashtag

IWSG-The home blog



Insecure Writer’s Support Group


Join the community here.


Give them a visit!

IWSG September question is – 

How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

This question for me is still a work in progress, so no answers really, some tools maybe.
For me its compounded with writing through your life & health falling apart and then putting it all back together with limited resources.
It is as much a “mental game” as it is getting the writing done, funding and inspiration.

Coping Tools

 (Plz forgive the different typeset here. I have yet to figure out why but working on it. Grrrr )

#1) Make an appointment with yourself and show up, BIC (Butt In Chair)!  
Common advice I know but truth and key to making it all work.  Write anything that pops into your head or you feel moved to express and then move on to what you intended to write about.   


#2) Feeling upset in a negative way?  Thoughts chaotic, distracted by events, actions, disagreement, or pending problems?  Write the ugly down, and then tear it up.  Make it a physical action.  If typing:  Erase it.  Pretend delete is a bomb trigger and blow it up.  Maybe you will be inspired to write an action scene based on the feeling.

OR, write it on paper.  Rip it to shreds and/or set it fire.  Watch it burn—Let it go. Therapeutic and satisfying.  



#3) Some people have success with 10 minute timed writings.  This does not work so well for me.  My Muse rebels.  Muse likes to pantsie.  (However, I have learn to use light outlining or to do’s and still make the muse happy.)



#4) Setting atmosphere aids me:  The sound of rain <–love it. (adjust the sound by clicking on the speaking center upper page) Also found this one.   I keep it low enough it does not make me sleepy and I add light classical music usually strings or cello or not, depending on mood.  I have a Pandora account and Amazon Prime member so Prime Music.  +

I use Scrivener with a background theme full screen/composition mode (Word also works for this for me), so no distraction from the rest of the program to snag my thoughts from words on blank page.   

I have heard several people say they have success with morning pages an idea taken from the book, The Artist’s Way. 



#5)  Create structure within chaos-change.   If everything is falling apart but you have this structure you’ve created/built into your habits, it will help keep you moving forward and working through the disorder.  I am still learning but getting better.   Inspiration:  Self Care And Productivity For Authors With Ellen Bard on JoAnna Penn’s Podcast.  



#6) Let your Muse play like a child at the playground unencumbered by strict rules and judgements from editor.  This does not have to be a writing activity and sometimes works best if it is not writing.  Treat the muse as child you used to be.  It’s play, not work, not serious.  Forget the rest of the world.  Live in that moment, that feeling, that idea, pretend, make if feel real.  You are a child.  Remember the innocence’s, freedom and possibilities of play.  

What things do I do:  I like to sketch, adult coloring book, casting my characters, getting outdoors into nature to play especially on the water, boating. Cruising in my Mustang convertible on open roads and back roads.  Road trips were a family thing when I was kid, so holds good feeling and memories.   Play a game I’ve been avoiding, because I know it will highjack my good intentions of writing. Watch a movie, read a book.  



#7) Reward yourself, incentives, bonuses or perks for writing.  It can be as little as chocolate, your favorite cheese, strawberries and whip cream, a movie, a book. Be specific.  Make it actual story, not world or character creation or research, unless those are your struggle areas.  It does not have to be a finished draft but you can set that goal to up the stakes for yourself.   

Money can be used as psychological therapy too.  

Get a mason jar.  Label it Writer’s Pay.  Set a reward with money amount if accomplished.   Stock the jar with a certain amount for specific reward/pay, if you can do that–upping the stakes for yourself and then start adding your change every day and watch it grow.  You allot amounts to pay yourself (IF) or set specific items to purchases or the whole jar depending what will motivate you best to accomplish your goal-finish.  

You can set a single goal or daily goals or goals by week or month,  when accomplished reward or pay yourself to write.  On a subconscious level you emphasizing and reinforcing the value in your writing and creating a happy place in finishing things.    




October 27th Storytime Blog Hop Our Theme: Halloween.  

Share your story with us.  

You have 43 Days!  One month and 13 day, to get that story written.  October 20th is the deadline for your Story Link Submission.


photo credit Alexas_Fotos at Pixaby.com


OPEN CALL  Speculative Fiction Authors


What do you need to do? 

Write a short story or flash fiction up to 1000 words

It should be PG-Rated – No Violence, Erotica or Foul Language in story

Schedule your posts to synchronize with other participates

Send your link to me by October 20th deadline.  

A time converter link has been provided.  Its already set, just select your time zone to match for the 27th.

Original posting here. 

What is Speculative Fiction?

Speculative fiction is a broad category of narrative fiction that includes elements, settings, and characters created out of imagination and speculation rather than based on reality and everyday life. It encompasses the genres of science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, horror, alternative history, and magic realism.

Join Us!  You have a little over a month left to write your story and get you link sent to me by October 20th deadline.  


Check out these Authors.

CR cover



Cradle Rock by Tara Tyler Available December 1st, read about here.









Sign Of The Green Dragon Available Now!











Bish Denham The Bowl and the Stone COVER REVEAL.Available to buy, October 3rd













When It Hooks You by Nicki Elson Romance & Humor, Available Now!








road receding into the distance




Trouble By Any Other Name Book 2 Lori MacLaughlin, Available Now!









Chrys Fey Seismic Crimes Book 2 Romantic Suspense, Available Now!








Share Button


  • I love #2! ‘Write the ugly down and then rip it up.’ That’s awesome. It’s a method they use in therapy, which I’m sure you already know. But it’s weird how I never thought of applying it to me writing. I also wanted to thank you for dropping by Writer’s Alley to share in my character reveal. TY!

  • I like #4. The rain sounds are so soothing. I also don’t do well with timed activities. I start to feel frantic, like I’m not going to accomplish anything, then I stress, and all around it’s no good. Great tips though. I could go for a little reward for writing. 🙂

  • Never considered paying myself to write. I may try that. Your blog hop sounds fun. I may just follow along for fun, but not contribute. Thanks for sharing.

  • Congratulations to the authors with new releases. These are such great tips, Juneta, thank you for sharing them.

  • Wonderful tips, Juneta! #2 cracked me up. Definitely bookmarking this page. It’s great that you still have your sense of humor after all you’ve gone through and are still going through. You’re an amazing person!

    Thank you for the shout out for Book 2!

  • Atmosphere is important to me. Movie soundtracks and instrumentals are perfect for setting a mood.

  • I’ve tried out a number of distraction free full screen editors. Maybe all the free ones. I’m not quite disciplined enough to use them without winding up with a whole lot of free-floating text files on my hard drive, but the productivity is good.

    • That the beauty of Scrivener. There are no free floating text files all files are in the one project accessible from the one location. Scrivener acts as notebook or binder or single file cabinet for all keeping then all in one place including research, links, mind maps, you can even import Aeon Timeline into the one project.

  • Juneta!

    These are all wonderful suggestions! I didn’t know about Scrivener and must give it a try. You’ve got some really positive things here and I thank you for sharing! I also wanted to let you know that I won’t be going to Japan until January, so I have plenty of writing to do until then! I’m also participating in October’s #Storytime Bloghop and really looking forward to it, I had so much fun with the last one! Thank you again for your kindness and generosity! You’re wonderful!

    • Thank you. I love Scrivener but there is a learning curve. Lots of tutorials online and I can give suggestions for other tutorials too. Yeah, I am so glad you are going to join us again. Looking forward to it, Mary. You are pretty great yourself, but thank you.

  • These are are are all great suggestion. I employ several, but particularly #1 and #4. Making a specific time to sit down and write gives me and my muse something to look forward to. And a soundtrack of rain is always on the Ipod.

  • Ooh, I like #7. Must employ that.

  • Fabulous tips. I especially love: “Pretend delete is a bomb trigger and blow it up. ” So funny, but it works!!

  • Terrific post, Juneta. I love that you allow for individual process. So important as we don’t all work the same way. I find that regardless of where I am in a manuscript, if I force myself to pay attention, I move move forward. It may not be in word count, it may be in character or plot development, but I make progress.

    VR Barkowski

    • Thank you. Everyone is different. I know what some swear by just does not work for me but other things do. It really it about taste I guess and as you said process. Good point. I’ll remember that.

  • Oooh, I love the sound of rain too!! And jazz, of course, to create my ambien 🙂
    I wanted to tell you: 1) I migrated to MailerLite too and so far I love it; 2) did you get my latest Track Presius short story? of all people I sure wouldn’t want you to miss it !!! Hugs!!

    • PS If you didn’t get the story I’ll be happy to email it to you.

      • Actually I did not get the story, but I also never go an email confirmation from you. So I just went and signed up again, got the confirmation and the story. I already how the other two you offer, lol. Can’t wait to read it.

    • I like jazz too but I find the classical strings more relaxing and soothing, but I do like jazz too. Yeah, I really like MailerLite. It is the best deal I have come across email list wise. Yup, have the story now. HUGs back to you.

  • Thank you for making such a great list, Juneta! I’ve been struggling with even getting some time to write at all, but when I finally do, I feel so stuck. I will be trying lots of these. (And you are not alone in being unable to write in ten minute increments–I need ten minutes to just get into the groove!)

    I admit I haven’t been around these parts in a while, but I love the new look! Everything fits together really nicely .

    • Thanks Kirsten, and thanks for coming back around. I always love visiting with you. ROFL like I have not talked to you in forever, @@, couple of days ago? *made myself laugh*

  • Blowing up the troubling thoughts so that my muse can play in the company of a mason jar sounds fantastic! These are wonderful ideas, Juneta 😉

  • Hi, Juneta. All good suggestions, especially #1. I find that if I just start writing about whatever, blah-blah-blah, that often degunks the machine and the words start flowing again.
    I’m going to see what sort of wee creepy story I can write for your Halloween fiction bloghop. Fun challenge! Thanks.

    • Oh so cool, does the happy dance. Will love for you to join us. Looking forward to reading your story.
      I remember you are very prolific if I ‘m remember your post right. Very inspiring.

  • It really is such a mental game, isn’t it? I love the idea of “write the ugly down.”

  • I’m a pantser. I like to write when the mood strikes so it could be early in the morning or mid-afternoon when I get home from work. I found when my best thoughts come to me when I’m in the shower though. Strange, but true.

    co-host IWSG

  • I used to be a total pantser. I have slowly converted to the other side. The key is to work with ourselves instead of against ourselves. So do whatever works out. I, too, seem to write more when I have less time. If I could only translate that productivity to longer stretches.

  • Great tips!
    Scrivener is good for so many things!! Love that feature too 🙂

  • Your suggestions for coping when my brain has abandoned me are DYNAMITE! Now, all I have to do is find the glue for my tail end to keep me in the chair. Thanks!

  • Right back at ya! Nice tips! 🙂 I love hearing different tips from different people. Some don’t work from me, but I always learn something new! Thanks for sharing!

    • Yeah, that is the best part learning something new and sometimes when you go back on those tips you find later they work after all because of the change in your journey as a writer. Your Welcome.

  • Great tips to get more writing done. I use the timer method. If nothing else, it gets me to open up the document. Heh. I like the idea of a reward jar.

  • The reward jar is a neat one indeed, first you need money to stuff it with though haha butt in chair always works for me.

  • “Butt in chair” is one of my favorite sayings. And I LOVE advice about deleting negative feelings. That will come in handy. All of your tips are great.

    Thanks for including Seismic Crimes! On Friday, it’s going to be 99 cents. 😀

    • Thanks. I was reading about copying skills and emotion. I often can’t write because I’m upset or frustrated so occurred to me that particular copying skill might work just as well for writing. I have just started trying so can’t really say yet but it did seem to help some.

  • You have given us so many creative ideas for keeping ourselves on board with writing. I especially like the suggestion you wrote by reading the Self Care and Productivity for Authors’ book. I had to smile at the one, keeping an appointment with yourself, that means butt in chair! I found this one humorous but so true. Sit down and write.
    Thank you for your encouragement.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    • That is actually a Podcast that I listened to the author talking about that and her writing. You welcome. Hope you find some of them useful to your journey. Thank you. Shalom aleichem

  • Good suggestions, Juneta. I’ve heard the ‘appointment’ approach, haven’t tried it. I wonder how well it works..

    A suggestion on the formatting (since it seems to stress you): Before publishing, copy the entire post (Ctrl+A to select all and Ctrl+C to copy) and paste it into a Word doc. You’ll probably see a mishmash of fonts and size. Select the entire thing (Ctrl+A again) and format it Times New Roman 12 or whatever you like. Then paste back into your blog. It takes about a minute where fixing the formatting in the blog takes HTML knowledge and a stiff drink.

    • Thanks for the tip. You know, I don’t know why I did not think about that. Sheesh. If you show up for the appointment then it worked., LOL. Thanks again.

  • Great ideas, all! I’ll have to look into that sound effect for rain to make myself happy and creative. We have so little rain that I’d never write a word if I had to wait for the heavens to send us some.

    Thanks for the shout out about Sign of the Green Dragon, and for putting together something fun for Halloween. My flash fiction’s ready–almost– to go!

    • Thanks. Yeah I sleep to sound of rain too, so have to keep it low enough it does not make me sleepy. I am so tickled you are joining us October. Yeah!!

  • Congrats to everyone with books out. 😀

    I like your suggestions, Juneta. Sometimes, if I set 10 minute goals, my muse likes to keep me writing. Other times, she’ll be nasty and just stop giving me words at around 9 minutes. 😉

  • Love the tips, Juneta. Thanks. Some of them were obvious, yet I still didn’t see them until you pointed them out. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  • I love your ideas, Juneta, particularly the Mason Jar reward. Maybe I could save enough for a new macbook. You’ve inspired me. Thanks!!!

  • Fantastic tips! My muse is a pantser too. Timed writing periods and plotting don’t work for me. Sometimes I’ll do a chore around the house and that seems to get things going again. Plus it helps keep my house in decent order!

  • These are great ideas. And I absolutely LOVE The Artist’s Way. I did morning pages for several years.

    I might just join in the Halloween hop. My favorite holiday!

  • Thanks for sharing so many ideas to get us writing. We’re all different especially when it comes to playing music in the background. I have to have complete silence while writing. I always wanted to have that romantic idea of penning great novels while sipping coffee at the local coffee shoppe. But no, I’m too easily distracted. Thoughtful and helpful post.

    • I have trouble in open places like coffee shops or diners but at home I can listen to music and write because of distraction. Sometimes my characters demand their own soundtracks.

  • Blow it up! I can do that. Or set it on fire. That’s always fun.

  • Oh great post! There are some fab ideas here, some that I use already – I like the mason jar one though 😉
    A x

  • Keeping yourself writing is definitely a mental challenge. It’s so easy to walk away from the computer and do something else.

    I listen to Rainy Mood sometimes too. I also listen to Harry Potter ambient sounds at http://harry-potter-sounds.ambient-mixer.com/gryffindor-common-room. Makes me feel like I’m sitting in the Gryffindor common room, writing away.

    • LOL, Thank you Ken for the link. I love it. These are great. I checked the Harry Potter ones and then went for…. wait for it …. Star Wars and then the rest of them. Thank for that again,

      Writing is a mental game but one worth playing.

  • Those are great ideas for coping with limited time for writing. And finding the right mindset for it when you’re squeezing in a few minutes is always an issue for me. I hate only having a short time frame.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.