When I was working in opera, no one gave a fig about being in the “mood” for getting out on stage and – hopefully – doing something worth the name “music”. With 900 people waiting in their seats for the curtain to rise and an irascible conductor in the orchestra pit, ‘mood’ was a luxury one had to do without.
But what can one do when there is no external pressure? When the only pressure is your own? When you could can actually walk away unpunished, and when your weaker self tells you that it won’t make much of a difference, that tomorrow is another day, that there are more important things to do and that you deserve a break/another coffee/a piece of chocolate right now.
This, my friends, is a precise description of yours truly trying to write this week’s blog post. I wasn’t in the mood. I had been diligently sitting at my desk without being in the mood. I had hatched ideas without being in the mood. I had written three different drafts without being in the mood. Now I was running on empty.
At exactly that moment I got an email from a friend saying “I wish my writing would flow as much as yours.” Ha!
I laughed and then I started to write….
“Bad Moods” are exactly like two-year-old toddlers throwing a tantrum in the sweets aisle of the supermarket. You can’t let them have their way, or you are doomed!
So, what can one do? Above all, gain some perspective. Just like tantrums from a two-year-old toddler, bad moods simply happen from time to time. The less one makes a drama out of it, the quicker it passes.
- The right mood wants to be treated as a cherished guest (just like sleep). You need to dedicate time and do some planning-ahead. In my case, I had not planned out my day and I had not stated beforehand what I wanted to achieve, what needed to get done and what could wait for later. I expect a lot of people to disagree, but I find my creativity flows best when there is a basic structure and planning in my day.
- The right mood, like a cherished guest, expects undivided attention. In these moments of ‘non-flow’ it takes real discipline to not succumb to the ever ticking lure of ‘just quickly’ checking emails, social media, the bank account and emails again. Every surge of creativity and inspiration would be nipped in the bud. If you don’t get into the flow, it is far better to acknowledge it and to take yourself and your mood to a walk. When moving physically, usually our ‘mood’, or shall we call her inspiration, returns.
- ‘Creative chaos’ apparently works for some people (please make yourself known, for I haven’t met you yet). When I looked at the state of my desk, I could see why I had trouble getting ‘into the mood’.
So, now I cleared my desk, tea is brewing, a beautiful beeswax candle is lit, my inbox is empty and my day is clearly mapped out.
And you know what? I’m feeling ‘in the mood’ again.