Tuesday’s Theme Music
Today’s song comes as a reflection on 2020 and its events. As I cogitated about what was and wasn’t, and what might be, I thought of how mojo rises and falls. What will the mojo be like in 2021?
All that thinking led me to a Cat Stevens song, “Wild World” (1970). I was fourteen when I heard the song. His singing tone spoke to me as it did a significant swath of my generation.
“But if you want to leave, take good care. I hope you have a lot of nice things to wear. But then a lot of nice turns bad out there.”
Yeah, you never know how things will turn. You can predict and plan, expect, hope, and pray. It often turns without warning, spurred by a sudden wind, a sharp word, a surprise pain, a shy glance, a quick smile, a brief hug. For want of a nail…
Have a good day. Stay positive, test negative, and wear a mask, please.
A Few More Drips
I’d been experiencing such great writing mojo. It was wondrous, the sort of writing experiences sought by authors everywhere. The writing flowed freely. Editing and revisions tailored the passages into cleaner, more reader-friendly (and story-advancing) prose.
Then, Wednesday came.
There wasn’t any indication Wednesday would be the day that the mojo didn’t come, but Wednesday was the day the mojo took off. Maybe the rain chased the mojo away, or perhaps they had a dental appointment.
I asked the muses where the mojo had gone. The muses shrugged, palms out in classic “I don’t know” non-verbals. “Who knows how the mojo works,” they said. “Mojo has a mind of its own.”
Their response surprised me; I thought the muses supplied the mojo, a position that amused them. “As if,” they said.
I struggled through Wednesday. Writing a short chapter (about a thousand words) consumed hours. Carving and shaping it sucked another thirty minutes. Even then, I was like, geez, that needs work.
Then, of course, I walked away.
The next day, the mojo showed up late but still, good to have them (don’t know the mojo’s gender, to be honest). Fixed that Wednesday chapter and then pushed on. With mojo encouraging the muses (or is it the other way), the writing time flew. Words poured out.
Beautiful. Off I went, walking, writing in my head as I went, pursuing chores, then back home for lunch and household tasks. All the while, the mojo stayed. The muses kept whispering more.
Quietly (avoiding attracting the cats, scaring off the muses, or alarming the mojo), I opened my computer and added another page. Off for more holiday running around with my spouse. The mojo remained, and the muses kept whispering, “Add this. Write that.”
Back home, more was added.
Then, showering this morning, more scenes dripped in. “Hurry,” the muses said, “let’s go write.”
“Come on,” the mojo said. “You gonna write or what?”
Yes, I was gonna write. At page two hundred, with a goal of keeping it less than three hundred pages (which looks promising), I believe it can be completed by the middle of January. Earlier is possible (as is a shorter novel) as, tying ends together, I revise the page count down.
Got my coffee. The muses and mojo are present. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.
Ever wake up and think, I can feel my mojo working today?
Great feeling, isn’t it?
The Mojo Exceptions
I’m pursuing the opposite strategy. This is embracing and doing the opposite of your normal choices. The thinking is, if what you’re doing hasn’t been working, then the opposite of what you’re doing should be successful.
This approach was successfully employed by George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander on ‘Seinfeld’ in the television series’ eighty-sixth episode, during its fifth season in 1994. Jerry Seinfeld’s character articulated the idea although George began it by deciding to order something other than his usual.
True, Costanza is a fictional character. We don’t want to start modeling our lives on fiction, do we? But some real value to this method could exist because it’ll take you out of your usual ruts. In a sense, this can help you face your fears.
There are always ‘buts’.
But, I went to write yesterday after several opposite choices and the buts started flowing in. One, I don’t want to mess with my writing mojo. I got my writing mojo working. So I needed the Mojo Exceptions to the opposites.
- I can continue to go to the coffee shop and write. Otherwise, taking the opposite path, I would stay home and write. Although, by Costanza’s Rule, that’s exactly what I should do. In my feeble defense, I used to stay home and write. It wasn’t working. I decided to do the opposite, and go out and write. See how nicely I’m trying to rationalize that?
- I can continue drinking my quad shot mocha. The Costanza Rule decrees that I’ll have something else, like tea. Again, I began drink the mocha to embrace the opposites because I used to drink black coffee without cream or sugar.
- I can still write like crazy. The opposite of that would be to write with restraint. I used to try that and abandoned it to write like crazy.
Expressing the Mojo Exceptions make me appear to be a coward. I write to learn what I think, and I learned why I wanted the exceptions. I see how fear from change is really behind not wanting to mess with the writing process. I see how comfortable I am in it. And yet, I can convince myself that I was already doing the opposite with that aspect of writing, and that’s why it works.
I see inconsistencies about following the opposite strategy that trouble me. I think, ‘Don’t post that post,’ because I’ll be exposing my cowardice and inconsistencies. That, of course, would be the usual. I have to do the opposite, except for the Mojo Exceptions so I post this entry. I figure the Mojo Exceptions define the one area that works really well and can be excluded. But Mojo Exceptions are not unlimited. After wrestling with this aspect, I agree with myself that three is acceptable, but no more than three.
After all, you don’t want to mess with your mojo. Of course, it can be argued that your mojo isn’t working if you’re pursuing the opposite strategy because it’s purpose is to take you out of your comfort zones by doing the opposites.
I’m getting a headache.
Today’s Theme Music
Getting ready to write? Or do anything else? Sometimes you need your mojo.
Time to get that mojo working. Maybe Muddy Waters can help. Sing along with the chorus – “Got my mojo working.” Feel free to move around and dance.
Get your mojo working. Go write, edit, whatever, create a better life.
This Is It
I’m wearing a green shirt because autumn is slinking in. Jeans have replaced shorts. I’ve added a sweatshirt as an outer garment but other than that, little has changed. I’m still drinking my quad shot non-fat, no-whip mocha. No pumpkin spice lattes for me, thanks. Lattes always remind me of a “what’s the use?” A WTU is non-fat, no-whip and decaf, without much coffee in it. Tastes like steamed milk to me. Really, WTF, WTU? Yes, I know, drinks are personal matters for humans, and how a person drinks their coffee is between them and their barista. I know many are appalled by my QSM, or abhorred that, ye gods, I have coffee and chocolate mixed together. My preference is a twelve ounce cup of this, so there’s little milk in it. It’s mostly chocolate flavored espresso.
Some people read that and shuddered. I felt it all the way over here.
Yes, autumn arrived a few weeks ago in the world’s northern half, in theory. Although leaves began changing while summer was indulging us with heat and sunshine, green is now saying, “Let’s make like a bird and get the flock out of here.” So I’m wearing green, as a small compensation for nature’s attitude.
October, while not my favorite month, is an important month for me. I can’t say I have a favorite month. I’m too hunkered down to properly celebrate holidays and seasons. I’m working on it but the celebratory gene seems to have skipped me.
October gained its status for me because of choices. I went on military active duty in October, left in October, returned in October, received several promotions in October and put in my military retirement papers in October. Two out of two houses were purchased in October. First airplane flight was in October, etc.
I feel something about October. Regardless of what else transpires globally, October re-invigorates my personal mojo. October may not be my favorite, but I love October.
Here we are, then, in October again. This is it. Time to plunge back onto the CSC Narwhal and the battle between the Narwhal, Intrepid and Missouri. It’s an exciting, intense place for me to be as the writer. The characters, scenes and development haunted and shadowed all other activities yesterday, impatiently tearing at the borders maintained between the writing life and ‘the rest’. I’d take a bite of food, nod at another’s comment, and realize a sentence to add or a detail to include. Those of you who write will understand.
Time to drink coffee and write like crazy, at least one more time.