The muse ~ where to find it

Hi, everyone

My apologies for a short post but I am unable to log into to WordPress.

I know we don’t normally write about our writing, but since it is not about my books but about the process, I thought I’d just ask how everyone keeps the muse flowing.

I have to admit to losing mine – BIG TIME. I was half way through a book and just couldn’t think of anything to write. Not even the merest sentence could be squeezed out.

At the moment I am taking a break, and this is where I’d like to ask my question. How do you keep your writing flowing? Do you have a routine, a set time to which you plan your day? Or is it something far more fluid, and you only write when the mood takes.

I think I am emotionally drained, from thinking about family members. Any advice?


9 responses to “The muse ~ where to find it

  1. This is a really timely blog, Jan, as I’ve had some of the same angst lately, thought not at your level. I think it’s all about finding the right balance in life, although I know we all need to make money at whatever we take on for a career. Lately, I’ve been trying to find that balance between my writing and my family. And I remembered my priorities…and writing is not first on the list. Family is.

    I don’t think any writer has the luxury of writing only when they want to, but I don’t follow a set schedule. I do have weekly goals and an accountability partner (Lavada). I look at my week, toss in my current emotional state, and decide how many pages I can get done that week.

    I don’t know how to bring a muse home from vacation. It’s different for each of us. But one of the best tips I learned (from the awesome Candace Havens at the national conference) is to walk away from the computer. To grab a pen and paper, sit somewhere else, and just write what comes to mind by hand. It could be personal journalling, it could be a continuation of where you left off with your writing, or a scene in a completely different story.

    Okay, I’d better stop. This answr is getting longer than the blog. lol It’s good to see you on the airwaves, Jan!

  2. Hi Jan, You may have to log into wordpress around the domain name. for some reason a lot of bloggers are having trouble lately.

    I so hear you about the vanishing muse. And it’s timely as I think everyone has trouble staying on track from time to time. For authors it’s the writing but think of all the unfinished scrapbooks, knitting projects, etc that go unfinished. Applying the 100/100 theory works for me for the writing. Write 100 words a day for 100 days. And, giving myself permission to write garbage knowing full well I can edit it out. For some of the other projects, ummm not sure guess just set aside like 15 min a day until the ball starts rolling again.

    It will come back and in the meantime be kind to yourself. It sounds like you’ve had a lot on your plate.

  3. Thanks, Lavada and Laurie

    Managed to log straight in with the new link :-), Now I shall know what to do next time.

    Thanks for your tips on how you spend your time writing. I think Laurie, you may be right. If I could walk away from the computer screen for just a few hours. I tend to stare at it. I always think that pen and paper are so much easier to control.

    All those unfinished hobbies ~ Lavada. I never thought of that. I’ve plenty of those. I’ve still got two paintings that I promised to finish, about three years ago! And 100 words for 100 days is certainly a way of easing the pressure.

    I’m sure it will come back…eventually. πŸ™‚

  4. Valerie J. Patterson

    Hi Jan…I empathize with you. In the process of writing every book, my muse takes a holiday somewhere between the middle and the end. I think it’s fatigue. I start with an eager flourish and I just let the words pour out. I edit every chapter after it’s completed, too. So, I’m rarely surprised when my muse slaps me on the forehead and takes a break. When that happens, I take a break from the book I’m writing. Stepping back and occupying my mind with something else allows my muse to refocus and refresh.

    I hope your muse comes back refocused and refreshed!

  5. Thanks, Valerie.

    I’m glad I posted this. It’s good to know I’m not the only one. Not that I want your muse to disappear, either.

    I have taken a break…at the moment I’m not writing anything. Just thinking, and doing the gardening. It’s nice just to mull things over for a change.

    I’m sure in time, it will eventually come back. πŸ™‚

  6. Just get in a dark room, and scream; “Chuck Laurie, what have you done!”
    I miss 2& a half men…

  7. Jan, sorry to hear your muse is on holiday, but we all need them from time to time, so be gentle with her πŸ™‚ When I’m feeling emotionally drained and can’t sem to write a word (and don’t want to) I often reach for one of the dozens of writing how-to books on my shelf. I shut down the computer, grab a coffee and immerse myself in technique. If I can’t even stand to do that, then it’s gardening. Above all, don’t worry. The old muse will return when she’s good and ready.

    There’s a lovely quote from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Simple Abundance, when she says: “accept the fallow period as graciously as you can, and get ready for a quantum leap in creativity”.

  8. Thanks, tjake

    Sometimes a scream is the only way to let off steam πŸ™‚

  9. Tricia, thanks for your tips.

    I love your quote, and I will be gracious. I’m actually enjoying the time out gardening… and so looking forward to that “quantum leap in creativity” πŸ™‚

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