Is your Muse snoozing?
I used to teach an online class on this subject but haven't for some time. What I did discover is that many writers suffer from a stubborn Muse. My personal opinion is writers have tender spirits that need extra nurturing. We pour ourselves into the characters we create which is why I made the former statement.
Through the years I've discovered what make my Muses unhappy. Yep, that's right I have two. One female and the other male. Chocolate works, but balancing my life and removing stress are the major bugaboos I have to watch.
When I sense problems looming ahead, that's time to take corrective measures. If I ignore the signs it only makes things worse and can add to the length of time for me to get back to where I need to be.
One of the biggest hurdles I have to overcome is overextending myself. I'm taking the last three classes for finish my degree. They are kicking my ass and I haven't had a chance to escape homework long enough to write or edit.
May can't get here soon enough.
In the meantime, I'm dealing with pain from my spine so bad I'm nauseous. I'm no quitter, I'll take the laptop to bed with me. Writing isn't a chore, it's a joy most of the time. A good attitude and flexibility help.
I can't be the only one going through everyday normal crap like this, so here are some thoughts and positive things of action we can do to get our arses in gear.
WHAT CAUSES YOUR MUSE TO SNOOZE?
With the stresses of day-to-day life taking its toll on a person physically, mentally and emotionally there’s no doubt the muse runs off to hide until the mess is clear.
When you’re exhausted in all areas of your life, how can you write? You can’t. If you push yourself and your muse, you’re either not going to like what you’ve put down on paper, or the frustration of not getting anything down at all will make things worse.
Once you’ve contracted a story with a publisher, you must deliver. You have no time for writer’s block. But what happens if it does come and takes up residence?
Knowing the source of what is causing your muse to take a hike can be the first step to getting everything under control. Or at least manageable.
Physical: If there’s a physical problem hindering you, go to the doctor. Nagging pains, blurry vision etc., can signal something bigger. Having physical aggravations reduces your capacity to concentrate and zaps precious energy.
I speak from experience. I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue so I must adjust my schedule and writing activities accordingly. This is a neuro-muscular disorder, in the same class as MS, so I never know what condition my muse will be in from one day to the next. It makes every day a surprise.
Consider your writing area. Is it comfortable? Do you need adjustments to your chair, a footrest to ease back stress or a change of table height so your arms are less stressed? Is the lighting too bright or not bright enough?
Many office supply stores can assist with these areas. If you have a spouse or significant other, they might be able to help, too.
If the area you’re writing in doesn’t make you happy it will affect your attitude before you sit down and put words on the page. For example, in my writing room, I write paranormal romance so I have three Twilight posters hanging on the wall, a stuffed bat (cause I love my vampires), a stuffed wolf (cause I love my wolf shifters.) LOL It makes me happy when I walk in my office. And candles. I usually have a candle lit and the fragrance is soothing.
You don't have to spend a lot of money, just surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. I know this is sounds trivial but it does have an impact.
The goal here is to remove as much stress as possible to open yourself up to the creative flow and energy needed to create. For those with children, maybe you could take them to a Mother's Day out program at a local church or day care. Find another writer and watch each others kids. My kids are grown so I'm limited on my suggestions.
Emotional: This area is the most difficult. Family, jobs and friends all vie for a piece of you and your time. When can you find the time or energy to write? By doing for others, but not ourselves, our creativity is blocked by the guilt people rain upon us. Taking the time you need to recharge yourself, will make you happier and in turn productive.
Learning to say no is tricky. Those who really care about you will make an effort to understand that you must limit your activities to achieve your goals as a writer. You must choose what is important and how you need to manage your time.
As writers, we tap into ourselves to bring forth a wide array of emotions in creating our characters and plot. If your emotional tank is dry, how can you dip into something that isn’t there?
Don’t heap criticism upon an already tender, bruised creative self because you didn’t do this or that. It’s okay to take a day or two to replenish and nurture yourself. I think women are especially bad about sacrificing so much for others, that by the time they do stop, there isn't much much left over.
SUGGESTIONS AND ASSIGNMENT
If you haven’t tried one of these, then that is your assignment if you chose to accept.
* When writing in a genre, I read in one that is different than what I’m currently writing in. This will keep you from accidentally taking something from another author and will give your mind something fresh to ingest.
* Try or do something creative that isn’t writing. Paint, knit, crochet, garden etc.
* Walk a nature trail. Take a notebook to jot down anything that appeals to your senses. You can use the notes later in your work.
* Try a new recipe. I write Scottish/Celtic themed stories. I make a wonderful batch of shortbread and shepherd’s pie.
I hope you find something helpful in this post.
May your creativity and your Muse(s) flourish!
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from Red Rose Publishing