Mining for Mojo


I seem to be missing my mojo.  I’m sure it’s around here somewhere; probably hidden in the mess that’s resulted from a combination of moving house and school holidays.  Most likely it’s under the damp towel my child has dumped on her bedroom floor and finds itself unable to struggle free. Perhaps it’s just lost in my current lack of routine.  I am one of those writers who needs routine.  I don’t write on a whim, I write every day, from ten until two, so a lack of routine may well displace even the most stubbornly attached mojo.  Wherever it is though, the fortunate thing about my mojo is that it’s easily identified.  Unlike art, I don’t know it when I see it, rather, I know it when I feel it.  That’s also how how I know it’s missing.

It’s also how I know I’m not suffering from writer’s block.  I have plenty of ideas.  Scads of them.  Great characters and what my writing mate, Meaghan Douglas, would call a cerebrescript standing around just waiting for me.  And what am I doing?  A lot of sighing and mental apologising.

So I know it’s not writer’s block and luckily (or maybe not), I’ve lost my mojo before so I know the steps I need in order to unearth it from wherever it’s gone to ground.  Uncovering missing mojo is like mining for opals.  You need to understand and carefully remove the layers surrounding mojo in order to accurately locate the pretty shiny thing itself.

First I must ensure the location of my muse.  She’s never very far away.  In fact lately, the lack of mojo to accompany her has had her huffing, tapping her foot and rolling her eyes at me.  I’ve apologised to her on numerous occasions (quietly so hubby won’t think I’m completely nuts).  It’s lovely that she’s turned up for work but frankly, if I don’t have the time or the drive then she’s kind of superfluous isn’t she?  Nevertheless it’s comforting to have her about because without her, I’m not only not a writer, I’m not even a little bit creative (I know this because I’ve lost her before and it was frightening indeed).

Next I need to get back into my routine.  It doesn’t matter when I write, just as long as it’s the same time every day.  If everyone in the team knows when and where, then they’re more likely to show up right?

The last step in recalling my mojo seems like just more procrastination but I find it vital.  It’s reading.  Not just any books (although I do read a lot at the best of times) but mojo mining requires books about writing.  This is because I’ve discovered that a large portion of my mojo is self-belief.  Books about writing are full of suggestions and solutions for things I may perceive are wrong  with my current work in progress (and lacking mojo I must say they do appear to be fatal flaws). They assure me that whatever I think is wrong, can be fixed.  In fact while reading How Not To Write A Novel, clever ideas had me regularly reaching for my notebook.

Following all this, there is only one thing left to do…wait.  School goes back tomorrow.  The chatter and mess will recede from my days.  I will get my routine and the chance to implement all the changes the books have inspired and after that, I know my mojo will have returned.  That’s the other thing to know about mojo, it’s a large portion momentum.

Of course any other helpful suggestions would be more than welcome, you know…just to be sure.


2 responses »

  1. I am on an extended holiday and I have found that the days can slip away without a routine. It find it is helpful to make lists. This forces me to carve out time in the day for not only tasks but for me to practice. Knowing you, once the chaos settles down your mojo will find it safe to come back.

  2. Yes three weeks have gone by in a flurry of bike rides and play dates. You’re right, mojo is a surprisingly timid thing, once I create a safe place for it, I’m sure there’ll be a return. I hope so anyway.

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