Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On Writing - Wrestling Your Muse Back To Work .

Ten Things to do when your muse abandons you:
  1. RELAX - Don't worry about it - worrying makes it worse
  2. Read something - it will help free up your mind
  3. Write crap - it's like exercise, just a warm up, then you can throw it away and move on
  4. Go over your old notes - sometimes an old idea will spark a new one
  5. Listen to Country western music - OMG there's always a story idea there
  6. Go for a walk - let your creative juices flow
  7. Don't answer the phone - reality distractions move you farther away from your muse
  8. Listen to your favorite music with headphones - helps with that distraction thing I mentioned
  9. Read poetry - another exercise, play with words
  10. Watch a movie - I think it takes the pressure of creating off me and turns me into a critic - LOL
So I bet there are some of you out there with much better ideas. How about a few responses to help an author out? I found the answer to my muse escaping -- I went out and dragged her back to work. Let's see if we can drum up a few more solutions to help some of my other author friends.


  1. I loved all the ideas. I think if you have a hobby i.e. knitting, etc. that keeps your hands busy but allows your mind to wander is a great tool.

  2. Great ideas. I like to cook to clear my head...unfortunately. It shows on my hips, lol. I always have ideas, but my problem is I sometimes lack motivation. Thanks for another great post, Eliza!

  3. Here is another one... read an old story you've written and ask what the other characters have been doing in their love life.

  4. Lorelei that's so true. Another interest that lets you think is a great idea.

  5. Sharron, I have the same problem - it's an excuse because it's really the eating that's the problem. LOL

  6. So far, I love your idea, Catherine. Always ask questions when you're stuck. True sometimes you get answers you're not looking for but sometimes you also find ways out of corners, or you find your muse hinding under the bed. Thanks!

  7. I received a few more suggestions by email I'd like to share.
    1. Talk your story through with a crit partner
    2. Don't listen to country music - it may depress you further LOL

    Come on I know you all have secrets out there. Please share.

  8. Movies and walks are big ones for me. Also, picking a random word or picture out of a newspaper or magazine, and asking what it might have to do with the offending scene/storyline. The results can be surprising!

  9. Okay, Eliza, I'm game.
    How about sending your muse on a date with your hunkiest hero? I mean the one you drool over. Pick out her wardrobe (or lack of it) and send them on an evening with a limo and everything, or a horsedrawn carriage on a frozen lake, or a fantasy vacation to the Caribbean in a corporate jet.

    She's always given you great, juicy ideas. Give the girl a little love in return. I'm sure she'll gift you back, unless you're too jealous, of course.

  10. Some great ideas! I'm in a total funk, but it has to do with the fact that my life is a bit upside down at the moment and I'm suffering severe sleep-deprivation. Doing this kind of stuff is about the limit of my powers of concentration right now.
    Usually walking helps, but man, I am so off any sort of reasonable schedule!

  11. Take a nap. Really. Your subconscious is a wonderful thing. Take advantage of it by putting the gatekeeper conscious mind to bed for awhile. Think about your characters and the situation that has you stumped, lie down, and sleep for about an hour. And...don't be afraid to delete the scene in question and start over.

  12. I haven't conquered the social networking system enough to respond to these comments from my iPhone yet so I had to get back to my computer.
    Thanks for the suggestion, Stephanie. Sometimes I get motivation from doing just that.

  13. Hi! Sharon Hamilton, that's a good idea too. I'm not usually jealous of my heroines since I think as writers we all live vicariously through them sometimes, but I have one hero I'm reluctant to share. Okay - okay - I've admitted it! Until I can write myself into his book he's staying mine.

  14. Out of all the ideas so far...'stretching, yawning' Ooooh hmmm...
    Anonymous has one of my favorites. My mind is the most active when I'm on the verge of waking. If I focus on my story, that's when the ideas really start cooking.

  15. I find just getting away from the computer and doing something mindless helps me. I usually do that when a scene is not working out the way I want it to. I even got chewed out by my hero once.

  16. Julia Rachel Barrett -- Off schedule is one of my biggest problems, too. I have a tendency to allow people to interfere with my time and creative moments.
    Nora Roberts once said she could tell if someone was in her house while she was writing because they were "breathing her air." I know how she feels, but apparently she didn't allow anyone "breathing her air" to interfere with her creative juices.
    I set guidelines, now for my friends and family. (They are beginning to take them seriously because I do.) I announce when I'm not available and I don't budge from my schedule. Sure emergencees come up and get in the way, but I try to delegate or handle them and then move on.
    I know -- easier said, than done. Stick to it as often as possible and if you have to, take 'guilt free' time off. The stories will still be there to write when you have the time.
    Good luck and happy writing.

  17. Ilona Fridl -- LOL Really? It's not bad enough we have to deal with everyone in our busy lives, but having our characters giving us a hard time also is just too much! ...especially when they start trying to run the plot lines their way. Sometimes we just have to rein them in because...well we're 'the creator' and we know where they're going and they don't ...right? Right? We do know, don't we? LOL!