When Your Mojo Stops Mojoing: A Spa Day L. Marie Style

This has turned out to be one of those weeks when I’ve struggled to write anything of significance. Scenes I’ve written in my story have fallen flatter than the last batch of brownies I attempted. (Who fails at brownies made from a mix? Um, me that’s who.) Sigh. I had to be honest with myself: my mojo wasn’t mojoing.

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Some of this had to do with various points of worry that the week dredged up. The stress of those worries trickled into my writing, which added to the flatness.

Ever feel like that about your writing or other projects?

Some people turn to yoga or take a spa day to recharge. Since the cost of a spa was prohibitive, I had to DIM—do it myself.

Here’s how you do a spa day, L. Marie style:

First, spend a couple of hours with a friend at Ikea enjoying an ultra cheap breakfast, followed by a leisurely look at baby furniture. (Her unborn child will need it soon.)

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This was only 99 cents.

Second, when you return home, watch movies like

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and call it “research.” After wishing you lived in Pixie Hollow and had a lightning bug for a friend, decide to watch something else, since that wish will not be granted. Binge on several episodes of the Pemberly Digital show, Emma Approved, a modern-day retelling of the Jane Austen classic. You can find it on YouTube. It’s like Clueless, except with adults playing adults, rather than adults playing teens. Each episode is around 5½—7 minutes long. If you’re like me, you’ll sigh over Alex Knightley and Frank Churchill for at least an hour, which is almost as bad as wishing you lived in Pixie Hollow.

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But third—and this is very important—procure some viewing snacks like

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These snacks are courtesy of a friend.

Fourth, work off the calories by getting plenty of outdoor time, traipsing among the flowers. Be sure to greet the bees while you’re there. They’re buzzing about, ready for their close-up. But don’t expect them to stay still if you want a photo. None of the bees I greeted did.

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These are blooming in the yard.

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These can be found at my local library.

Fifth, watch more episodes of Emma Approved. Consider whether or not you would want your life to be like the retelling of a Jane Austen novel.

Sixth, after dinner, try again to make that troublesome scene work.

Seventh, believe in yourself. While you’re thinking about how to make that scene work, crochet a flower for a friend’s birthday. Use it to remind yourself that if you can produce this, you can produce a compelling scene.

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What do you usually do when your mojo stops mojoing?

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Sad man from goodgeorgialawyer.com. Breakfast plate from ikea.com. Emma Approved logo from tvtropes.org. Other photos by L. Marie.

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39 thoughts on “When Your Mojo Stops Mojoing: A Spa Day L. Marie Style

  1. Walking in the woods always works for me. I get a bit tetchy if I’ve not been out for a few days, and so off I go! Movies work too. I’ve just been to see Jurassic World for the second time with my son James-he’s dinosaur daft. I once mentioned raptors- “Dad, you mean velociraptors.” Not bad for a four year old.

    • I am more and more impressed with James. 🙂 I have yet to see Jurassic World. I’d like to see it though. Maybe I’m weird, but I love movies where people are menaced by dinosaurs.

    • Thanks, Jill. Yes, I have Skinny Pop for the weekend. With the temperature zooming up around here, I might not be outside much. Usually I hear birds all day. But today, I don’t hear any. Perhaps they flew off to find shadier trees.

  2. I highly approve of the snacks! Exercise works well for me, too, and I always find taking a few days off really helps. My subconscious goes to work on the story, and I return to the laptop refreshed and full of new vigor. Give it a little time. You can bet every writer goes through this.

    • Thanks, Gwen. I usually fight against the need to take off though, as you mentioned, my subconscious needs to be engaged. The need to feel productive is the culprit that keeps me churning out drivel. And I usually wind up having to cut those “forced” scenes.

  3. I find a walk is the best way to get my mojo back. Nature has a way of centering us. Of course, if it’s winter and freezing outside, I have to find a different outlet. I’m not that adventurous. 😉

  4. While I love lightening bugs (I call them that, too!), my fav go-to for comfort&recharge is ‘Ice Age’…the very first one.
    Sounds like you attempted to ease through the week with a batch of brownies. So sorry they ‘fell flat’ for you. What a disappointment.
    Next time, call me and I’ll bring my DVD and HomeMade Brownies (extra chocolatey)!
    😉
    Here’s to a weekend filled with Mojo-muse.

    • Ah. That would be lovely. I so love brownies!! Ice Age is fun! Thank you for that reminder.
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend. The temperature is climbing here. I went outside and promptly wilted.

  5. I’ve actually never been in an Ikea. I hear people get lost for days in there and have to live off meatballs and hotdogs. I tend to take a day of nothing. Maybe toss something on the TV or get some extra sleep. Just don’t have a plan and let the day pass by.

  6. A walk in the woods, or my gardens here on the Cutoff, usually helps me re-mojovate. If you promise not to tell anyone, I also play Tetris (yes, Tetris). Stacking up all those little boxes seems to soothe me. It is a mindless playtime and I suppose I’m channeling my two year old block stacking self. 🙂 If my mojo is really stalled, a day or veggieng in front to the tv, watching old movies helps.
    You’ve Got Mail or Mrs. Miniver or, promise you won’t tell anyone, again, 🙂 I love American Treasure. Yes. I do. It’s not a very good movie, but, I’ve been to Philadelphia and love the sites.
    Our grandkids love Ikea ice cream cones and the $1 cones at MacDonald’s are a sure way to chase blues away.
    Those flowers are all lovely and a great way to feel better for me.
    I hope your mojo is back soon, L Marie. I’ve enjoyed reading and seeing photos of our spa day.

    • Thanks, Penny! I love Tetris! Thanks for the reminder! I had it on my phone but took it off. I have another game that I play–Zuma’s Revenge. It is a matching game sort of like Tetris only with marble-like balls. Very fun.

      Good point on watching old movies. I love movies like Born Yesterday, which are dialogue-rich. I had the DVD of Born Yesterday somewhere. Not sure where it is at present.

      Ooo. Good point about the $1 cone. 😉

  7. This passed through my inbox at the perfect moment. I’m struggling through a draft, and I’m underwhelmed with what I’m writing. Oh, there’s a story, and it’s complex. Maybe that’s the problem. I’ve been wrangling words for too many days in a row and can’t see the complexity anymore. Your ideas for getting out of the house, shifting gears and whatnot come at the perfect time for me. I need to hop in the car and go take a walk on the beach. (Free) Or walk around the Battery. (Also free.) Our stories will come together. 🙂

    • I’m glad it was helpful, Andra. I hope you can get some time on the beach. You’ve had such a trying year and have worked so hard on so many aspects of your writing (publicity, presentations, etc.).

      My story is complex too. When I don’t feel that my writing is appreciated, that adds to my difficulty to put pen to paper. I got lost in the storylines and lost sight of the joy of it. So I had to throw out part of a scene and start over to rediscover the joy of writing. I’m still working on that!

  8. Just have to say that I have also ruined a batch of brownies from a mix. I forgot to put the oil in. I didn’t realize my grand error until I served the brownies, and they were hard as bricks. Oh, my!
    Writing can be so lonely and isolating. Sometimes just running an errand and hearing someone say, “Welcome!” as I walk into a store cheers me up and reminds me that I am part of a bigger story. Funny how writing is also so connected to living.

    • Great point, Afton. I love the aspect of being part of a bigger story. And the community aspect is what you stress in your blog. I can’t help thinking of Storm Sisters. 🙂
      I’m not sure what happened with the brownies I attempted to make. But they turned out horribly. Perhaps I’d forgotten the oil too.

  9. Movement. That’s it for me. Walking,cycling,swimming, jumping around to music – anything that’s the opposite of sitting and letting the mind run. I also tell myself that I AM MY OWN MOJO! Relax, you nobody ever loses their mojo, it just gets misplaced.

    • I’m picturing you jumping around to music. 😀
      Good point about misplaced mojo. I’ll look around and see if I can find it. Perhaps it is buried under a long, boring list of to-dos.

  10. Sounds like a great way to recharge your batteries (and amuse your muse), Linda! I’m pretty quick to switch gears if I feel like I’m swimming against the current rather than flowing with it.

  11. Glad I saw this. I’m losing steam on my current WitD project. I’m thinking I’ve written myself into a bit of a dead end, so I need to back out and find the right path. Also lack of sleep is not helping. :/ Hopefully next week will be more calm! Have a great weekend Linda.

    • I wondered what was going on with this week’s excerpt. Lack of sleep does sound like a culprit.
      I’m having to backtrack to a point in my story where I lost the joy of it. I hope you can find that joy again in your story. Enjoy your weekend!!!

  12. I like what you do. I do something similar, but I have Ben and Jerry’s Frozen Yogurt Greek Style! 🙂 Depending on my deadline, I leave writing for a while- a movie or TV series episode or 2, then back to reading and listening to TED Talks or any other inspirational talk. Reading includes blog posts from other writers. Interesting that I’ve read a couple of posts about losing motivation and I’m writing one myself… is it the summer? 😉

    I hope you’re able to resolve the various points of worry and get back to writing. This post isn’t a bad start.

    • Thanks, Timi. I also invest in some Ben & Jerry’s whenever I’ve got the funds. And it’s funny that you mentioned TED Talks, because my next post is about one I just heard. Will check out your post on motivation. 🙂

  13. I love your concept of a day spa. I tend to go read a good book when my mojo has decided to take a nap or go on strike (sadly for me, my mojo is French — I leave you to imagine how often it’s on strike!) That tends to help spark some ideas.

    And I feel your pain re the brownies. I made banana bread trying this new super healthy recipe and it was a disaster. Tasty nonetheless, just couldn’t stay in one piece!

    • I’m glad it was tasty at least. My brownies were inedible. I can’t figure out what I did wrong.
      Since I took off, my mojo is slowly recovering. But it is asking me for cake for some reason.

  14. Your do-it-yourself spa day sounds wonderful. I like those Tinkerbell movies. They’re cute. I’ll have to check out Emma Approved. I hadn’t heard of that one before. Watching movies, working in my flower garden, and taking long walks help me out of a writing funk. Lovely flower photos, by the way. Hope your mojo returns in full force soon!

  15. It’s so easy to lose your Mojo when you keep writing, revising and submitting and the result is radio silence. It’s good to be reminded to re-charge our writing batteries and keep on going.

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