Monday, May 24, 2010

Where did my muse go?

Writing can be incredibly easy and at times incredibly hard. No matter how you work it, whether you are a pantser or a plotter, you have to write to get paid.

It's easy when the muse loves you, and she romances you at night, visiting your dreams, and the characters are happily chatting away in your head until you can get somewhere to write it all down.

But you can't wait around for the muse everytime, because as we all know that muse is a fickle bitch.

She left me a plot bunny and then took off for the hills. I haven't seen her in a week. She's cruel like that. Whispers sweet nothings in your ear and then forgets you exist.

I can give up some time to research, some time to help me figure out how the characters might overcome a certain spot in my story, but too much means I get nowhere. So that's not what I am going to do. I just have to choose a story and stick with it. I need to write 4 pages a day for the next month to get even close to my goal. I have promised stories to write with friends and with certain publishers and I have to write, whether my muse likes me at the moment or not.

I think we all work differently and because I have been writing professionally for a few years now I have learned a little more how my mind works. Each time I am able to enter the writing zone, I can do pages at a time because my mind has become one with the characters. Their goals are my goals, and I am literally in their head at that moment. I couldn't tell you much about what is going on around me, because I have this ugly disease I like to call 'writer's brain'.

You don't have to tell me what I look like when I get it. I have this pretty dorky blank exresssion on my face and I tune out much of what is going on around me. I become non-responsive and can't hear what you are saying. If I do hear something from the depths of my brain I usually have to answer with another question, "Huh? what did you just say?"

There can be a lot of anxiety or unvoiced fears making it to this point. All stuff I would never freely admit but it's there playing as background music to my writing. "Oh, this won't be any good. It won't live up to the expectations of my editors/readers/insert anybody you want here. It's all crap anyway so why write it?" Once you can get past that, the words flow like a river of wine. It's pure genius. You OWN writing today--1500 words--one little scene down. You are on top of the world, and you have completed a small section of a larger work.

The anxiety returns and you have this unseen barrier that stops you from moving on, but if you push past it and finish the next scene that is how you overcome writer's block.

I have to deadlines. I have to write. I don't have a choice to sit around and wait for my muse, but if you see her send her home, but please don't warn her that I plan to chain her to my computer the next time I see her.

1 comment:

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