Getting Your Mojo Back

Thursday, May 11, 2017
I love the word “mojo.” It’s terribly apropos for so many professionals—athletes, performers, writers. Because it does feel like magic sometimes, when you’re in the zone, when characters are vibrant and the plot hums along and the voice sings and dang. The work practically writes itself!

So when you lose your mojo, it’s the pits. Characters are flat, the plot plods, and the voice…well, you can’t find the right voice for love nor money. And you are in the pits of despair. But cheer up! I’ve found a couple of ways to get my mojo back and one might work for you. Except we’ll need to start with some more words I love:

You can’t beat Lord of the Rings for inspiration. And so let’s begin by giving ourselves permission to wander.

Sometimes, I walk; not always wandering in scenic surroundings, though there are lots of parks nearby and I highly recommend taking brisk strolls through our natural wonders. But I walk up and down my stairs, too, or on my treadmill. I’m pretty sure all my walking has pumped a lot more oxygen into my brain, and I like to think that’s pumped up my mojo. I don’t have scientific evidence to prove this mojo theory, but at the very least, it’s pumping up my heart and helping my back, so I’m sticking with the walking.

Sometimes, I’ll wander through the stuff that’s accumulated in my house. I’ll attack one of my closets or an entire room and wander as I sort out the keep and giveaway piles. Sifting through memories is not always an easy exercise, but it can be stimulating, both mentally and emotionally.

I’ve wandered into reading, but choosing books way off my usual path. And so I’ve found a new love in memoirs, and I’ve found solace for my soul in the spiritual books given to me by friends. It’s been challenging, wandering into subjects and people’s lives so different from mine. And yet, it’s been fascinating as well, going beyond my years-old boundaries.

And at long last, I wandered into writing, but not the writing I’ve always done. A singer-musician friend of mine sometimes sends me lyrics for feedback, and in a reckless moment recently I said, “We really need to work on lyrics. You can do this!” And she said, “Yes, let’s collaborate! Thursday works for me!”

So on Thursdays, now, I wander into songwriting, and gosh, it’s exciting. And then suddenly, I found myself wandering back into other writing, like picture books, and I had to sit down fast and write up those stories.

It’s magical, that feeling of needing to write. And so it turns out, I was never lost to my writing, I was only wandering. Which brings me to the final words I have for you as you struggle with your dreams and goals:

Cathy C. Hall is a kidlit author and humor writer. She has a thing for words, especially quotes, and so she'll often use Quozio to fancy up her sayings. You can use it, too. It's free! And happy wandering!


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Love this, Cathy! When I'm feeling lost in my writing or in my life, I'm going to tell myself that I'm not lost, I'm just wandering, and I'll meander my way to wherever it is I need to be. :)

Sioux said...

Cathy--So, are you going to be Georgia's version of Amy Tan? Soon, will we see and hear you up on stage, wailing away (with perhaps Neil Gaiman on bass)?

I'm really REALLY impressed that you dabble in songwriting. (I expect a youtube video of you singing one of your songs quite soon.)

Cathy C. Hall said...

Oh, I'm glad it resonated with you, Madeline! I find a beach a GREAT place for wandering! ;-)

And Sioux, maybe someday you'll hear one of my songs. But you won't hear ME singing it (I'm a Pip, not Gladys)!

Charlotte Dixon said...

Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your moments of wandering. I've had a tug-of-war with myself over to wander or get my BIC. Those down times can be hard to process.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes, and thank you, thank you, thank you! I really think if we keep trying, the inspiration always finds its way back to us. Good for you for trying new ways to be creative and new things to learn. I'm not surprised the mojo is back!

Linda O'Connell said...

Wandering...I like this post so much and can attest to the fact when I am taking a walk, wandering aimlessly, my self opens up and I am receptive to sights, sounds, smells... it inspires me to capture theses things on paper. I lost my mojo, but got it back with a message from on high and blogged about it.

Angela Mackintosh said...

How wonderful that you're songwriting, Cathy! To be able to hear your words as fun! I need to find more ways to wander. Currently, it's been hiking in the canyons that's been inspiring my muse, and I recently found an old box of photos from my childhood that I've never looked through before! Maybe that will inspire some wandering into writing. :)

Nila said...

I love this quote, but had never really thought it through and made the connection that the wandering comes back around to create something new!

Renee Roberson said...

Wandering is good! I wander all over the place with my dog-walking job, but I also like the idea of wandering through old closets and drawers. It digs up memorabilia, and purging is good for the soul, I believe. I shall try wandering through new genres of books and writing subjects, soon!

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