Getting into the Creative Mood

Bright idea in hand

Continue reading at the end to find out our extra special guests coming to Apex Writers including two New York Times Bestsellers!

Getting Into the Creative Mood

Put the record on and play a little Glenn Miller. It’s time to get In the Mood to write. NaNoWriMo has started, the annual National Novel Writing Month that has been held since 1999 and has helped more than 8000,000 novelists complete 368,000 novels. With that in mind, let’s talk about getting ready to write by getting into the creative mood.

When I was 11, a friend of mine, Jim Smith, was talking excitedly about his Christmas gift. “My dad got me a book that shows stop-motion photography of different kinds of world-champion athletes.” His book showed how sprinters pushed off when they started a race, how high jumpers cleared a bar, how gymnasts performed various flips.

I, on the other hand, got a Thingmaker, in which I learned how to combine various colors of plastic goop in order to bake up rubbery insects and frogs. 

Now, Jim wasn’t a huge kid, but he became an amazing athlete. Over the next few years, he began to make his mark in various fields. He eventually set state high-school records in the long jump, at hurdles, in the 100-yard dash, in the quarter mile, and he became the quarterback for our football team and the captain of our basketball team.

Simply by watching Jim, I learned the tremendous power of starting things out right, of learning the basics.

Learning from the Masters

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how authors can get into a relaxed creative mood that lets them write more, faster, and better. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Greg Vose sent me a couple of videos from one of my favorite comedians—John Cleese, who has also made a study on how to start out right.

It never ceases to amaze me at how many writers set unrealistic goals, stress themselves out so that they can’t reach a creative state, and then sit down to write. All that they get out of it is frustrated. Yet they make the same mistakes over and over, then hope to get better results.

Watching John’s videos takes about 40 minutes, but I think that if you pay close attention and do what John says, you’ll find that this may be the most rewarding 40 minutes you ever spend. These are certainly the best talks on creativity that I’ve seen. Coming from a genius like Cleese, it’s not surprising, though.

So, watch them and learn, but with one warning: take notes! For an aspiring artist, this material is invaluable.

Watch the videos here.


If you’d like more motivation, I’ve created a course called “The Story Puzzle” which you can buy individually, or as a bundle on mystorydoctor.com. For those of you who want even more help to get motivated, come to apex-writers.com and join our writing group where we will be holding daily writing sprints where authors work together to create their novels, get individualized feedback, and grow stronger as a community together.

Happy writing,

David Farland

P.S. keep reading to learn about some special guests coming soon to Apex Writers!

Dan Wells

Daniel Andrew Wells is an American horror and science fiction author. Wells’s first published novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, was made into a movie in 2016. A former student of David Farland at BYU, a true hometown hero for the state of Utah. 

Brandon Sanderson

If you read fantasy and sci-fi, chances are you’ve heard of Brandon Sanderson, whether that’s from The Way of Kings, Mistborn, Skyward, Steelheart, or Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians. Brandon has become one of the most recognizable authors of the 21st century, and now he’s coming to www.apex-writers.com

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