Under the Weather

Living in England, we are used to the weather being ridiculously temperamental. A few weekends ago, people were walking around in shorts, with horrific sunburn. Now, it’s big jumpers and umbrellas.

Cloudy

*PHOTO CREDIT: andersbjornsbo.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/does-cloud-computing-only-work-in-cloudy-weather/

When I opened my curtains this morning, the clouds were shifting and there was a hint of blue skies. I felt motivated to write for the first time in a long time. Not only that, but my mood lifted instantly. Within the hour, the clouds have returned, and with it, the familiar sense of being entirely unmotivated to write anything at all, save for some sarcastic tweets.

I find myself wondering if this is a common thing – Does the weather really affect us in this way? Do clouds in the sky somehow manifest as writer’s block, clouding our creative vision? Do they make for dull writing? In the same vein, does the sun make us write with more tenacity and verve? Does the rain make our writing take on a more sombre edge?

I’m interested in your viewpoints, writers. Please leave a comment below or send a tweet to @brunelwriter.

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Motivation, Motivation, Motivation.

It’s cold. It’s raining. It’s miserable. You’re tucked up under a blanket watching Gavin and Stacey. It can be really hard to get up and sit at your laptop for hours writing something, whether it be for your own satisfaction or for university purposes. There’s no one there apart from yourself to push you and lack of motivation can be a real killer, especially when you’ve got a deadline looming and are feeling so snowed under by work, you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or you might be bursting with ideas, but can’t find a place to begin. Here are some top tips for jumping that first hurdle and settling down to some hard graft.

1. Get up!

It might be tempting to stay under your duvet (especially is a cold house – how expensive is heating??) and say to yourself, “I can do work here”, whilst balancing your laptop on your knees. Whilst that works for some people, it might actually be more beneficial for you to sit at a desk where it feels like you are actually about to do some work, rather than lounging around in bed where it feels like you should be watching a film. Once you’re sat upright, creative juices can flow and you’ll find that you get into a rhythm of typing.

2. Be patient!

It may seem like you will never reach the bottom of that metaphorical pile of work that seems to be towering above you. However, take it one step at a time! If you try to do everything at once, you’ll be going nowhere fast. Sit down and make a list before you even do anything, making sure you know which deadline comes where.

3. Take the pressure off.

It is so difficult to get started on an assignment, or any piece of work, if you’re more focused on pressuring yourself to finish rather than the piece of work itself. Yes, the piece might be due tomorrow and you’ve only just started (we’ve all done it) but panicking about it will only take up more time. Be focused, be chilled out. It WILL get done and it will take as long as it takes. You may just have to sacrifice a little bit of sleep. Somethings gotta give!

4. Try somewhere new.

Okay, so you’ve been sat at your desk for half an hour, staring at a blank word document. Move yourself to somewhere else! It might be just moving to a different part of your room, it might be putting your feet up on the desk. Or it might be leaving your house and taking a trip to the library. Brave the horrible weather and relocate yourself. Different surroundings might spring your brain into action.

5. Wake up earlier.

Lying in until 2pm is bliss, there’s no doubting that. But if you set your alarm for 10am, you’ve got the whole day ahead of you! It gives you more daylight hours (and let’s face it, we’re running low on daylight hours) to get the work done before it gets dark outside and you just want to have dinner and relax.

These tips may seem a little clichéd, but are SO easily forgotten when it comes to the crunch. Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that you DO know what you’re doing and that you need to calm down and get on with it. A little tough love on yourself may be the key.

Hilary Nouwens.