Saturday, June 27, 2015

In the Mood! by DiAnn Mills

In the Mood!
DiAnn Mills

A writer friend and I were catching up over a lengthy phone conversation. After we covered a multitude of topics, personal and business, I asked about the progress of her next book.

“Oh, I’m not writing,” she said. “Haven’t been in the mood.”

This writer was one of my heroes in the industry. “What happened? You’ve always been excited to delve into the next project.”

“Creativity hasn’t moved me to begin a new novel.”

“Do you need to brainstorm?” I said.

The writing muse hasn't hit me.
“No. I’m good.” She sighed. “Dry spells come and go.” 
Her obscure tone bothered me, but I didn’t pursue the topic further. Later on in the day I was at the dentist’s office. I’d lost a filling, and the tooth throbbed. As I waited in the patient’s chair, I thought back over the conversation with my writer friend. A twinge of pain shot up from my tooth. How would I feel if the dentist wasn’t in the mood? Ouch!

I left the dentist’s office under the effects of Novocain and stopped to fill up my empty gas tank. When I reached for the pump and selected the type of fuel needed, the same thought struck me again. What if the driver who delivered gasoline to the station wasn’t in the mood? I’d be walking.

Before heading home to finish my word count for the day, I stopped at the grocery to buy salad fixings. While I stood in line to pay for my food, it occurred to me one more time. What if the grocer’s employees weren’t in the mood to work today? My husband wouldn’t have a grilled chicken salad for dinner.

The difference between my friend’s approach to writing and mine boiled down to work ethics. I write whether the words are framed in my mind, or I have to dig them up like precious stones. Everyday. No matter what my mood.

If I procrastinated to when I felt like creating, not only would the contracts stop but I believe the quality of the manuscript would slip. Other tasks fall under writing: responding to emails, social media, reading the how-to books, keeping up to date on the publishing industry, marketing and promotion, and arranging to attend quality conferences. Some areas are more enjoyable than others, but my work ethic says to complete the task to the best of my ability.

I received my work ethic model from my dad. I don’t remember his ever missing a day of work. He welded in a factory, rain or shine, in sickness and in health, whether he felt like it or not. 

What about you?

That’s my advice to every writer. Put your rear in gear and get the job done. Write, edit, submit, promote, and begin again. The satisfaction of a well-crafted piece is worth the disillusion of waiting to create when in the mood. In the midst of discovering the perfect idea or word is a wealth of satisfaction of a job well done.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at


Ane Mulligan said...

I came from a wonderful work ethic, too. I've found like you, if I dig, I'll find the words, find the muse. I really learned that when I had my first deadline. lol I discovered I could write a lot more each day than I used to, too! Thanks, DiAnn, for a great reminder to Just Do It!

DiAnn said...

Thanks, Ane. Creativity is a wonderful gift, but we also have to be mindful of our responsibilities.