What I'm learning is that if you want to make the most of your writing, you need to treat both of those times the same: the days of inspiration and the weeks of drought. You do this by having a process. What works for everyone is different, but these are a few things I've found that work for me.
Start things off already inspired. I have a pinterest board full of words and quotes that inspire me. Taking the time to scroll through those or read a chapter in a book I love gets my mind in a creative place. I think, "I want to write words like that!" And so I do. Or, I try to. Which, for the purpose of this post, is quite good enough.
Set goals. Have some sort of idea about what you want to come out of this writing session. Whether that's a certain amount of blog posts you want to write, a number of pages you would like to fill, or a set amount of time you want to write for. Having something to strive for will keep you from slamming the computer shut or throwing your notebook at the wall.
A hot drink. Or a cold drink, if it's too hot. Either way, something that tastes good that you enjoy, but that isn't going to be distracting. For me, food is incredibly distracting, but a mug full of my favorite coffee inspires creativity.
Set the mood with scents and sounds. Find a candle that makes you happy and buy five of them. I mean, just one works too. I just bought this pretty thing and it's kind of like having unlimited candles in whatever scent you want. Vanilla really inspires me, but it has to be vanilla-some-kind-of-cake, not just vanilla. If I'm going for a relaxed environment, I mix vanilla and lavender. And in the fall, I can crank out some serious pages to the smell of pumpkins and cinnamon.
As far as sounds go, you just have to figure out what works for you. A lot of people can write along to music; I cannot. The words just distract me too much. If you're like me in that sense, here are some resources you may like:
Ommwriter. This pretty much blocks off your entire computer and allows you to write without distraction. They have a selection of neutral + inspiring backgrounds and noises you can choose to write along to.
Coffitivity. If writing in a crowded coffee shop inspires you, you can bring some of the ambience home with you. There are a few apps and websites for this, but this one is my favorite. The conversation is muffled and they also included realistic sounds, like clattering spoons and clanking mugs.
Noisy Typer. You can make your keyboard sound like a typewriter. And that's just fantastic.
While this is by no means a magic formula, I've found that if my process is the same when I'm inspired as it is when I'm uninspired, the inspired days seem to come along more often.
How do you make the most of your writing process?