We as writers are constantly looking for the inspiration, drive and desire to sit down and pump out a story. Sometimes it flows naturally, (like those 2 am instantly, awake ideas that just have to be jotted down) and other times we sit at our computers staring at the blank screen hoping something will jump out at us. As a pre-published author I’m not under the gun to perform on deadlines–yet, but I do like to set goals for myself on a specific book.
So what do you do when there is no thoughts running through your head? What inspires you to write that story? (For my last story, it was a hot picture of Hugh Jackman over my desk). 🙂 LOL.
Yes, I’m suffering lately, but thanks to a good friend of mine, she inspired me the other day to sit and write 1,000 words in one hour on my latest endeavor. I did 1,069. Sometimes for me, my Muse is a friend who challenges me for my own gain (no bets, just a challenge to see if I can do it).
Let me know what or who your Muse is that gets you through those ‘blank page days’ and why do we have those days–besides the obvious ‘reality gets in the way’. I would love to hear from my Mermaid Sisters on their ideas and also from others out there joining us today. Challenge yourself, challenge your writing friends and critique partners to sit and write. Set achievable goals as life does get in the way. (Would love to hear the results too!)
Hugs and best wishes!
18 thoughts on “Who Is Your Muse?”
Going to both WRW Retreat and RWA Nationals has really given me a kick-start. At Nationals, Kristan Higgins said that rather than setting daily word count goals (b/c of course life DOES get in the way) she sets weekly goals. I’ve been doing that lately and it seems to be a much better system for me.
My muses: Depeche Mode’s darker music, my own immortality and the thought that I’m not going to get any wasted days back so I better do something today, and people I see on TV, in movies or in the streets with interesting and expressful faces.
Did anyone else catch that fast draft workshop at nationals? The presenter challenged us to write our first draft of our next book in two weeks time. At first you think no way, that’s crazy and unrealistic but apparently it can be done and by very busy people too. Just the thought is dauntuing but also I imagine what it would feel like to actually accomplish such a feat!
Yes, I was at First Draft at Nationals and a group (including WRW member Danielle) are about to start a First Draft on Wednesday – this week. Are you in? email me at denny at dennysbryce dot com.
Your blog topic is intriguing. Some of my ‘muse’ sources include TV (I’m watching ‘Medium” a show I never watched when it was on the air, and want a romance!!! It gave me ideas on how to add conflict to a paranormal I”m working on…
Another friend said go to museums and to live theater – I do musicals mostly though, but often a performance, a note, a dance step, can awaken the muse. What else? I love music. Especially composers like Stravinsky, Aaron Copeland, contemporary classic artists.
Whoops – I meant this blog topic…I got caught up reading your response:)
Denny – I would love to do this but I am too doggone chicken!
Good luck to you Denny! Let us know how it goes!
Kristan always has some inspirational messages. I like that! Good for you! Keep up the great work.
I hear you about music. Depending on what I’m listening to it will drive my story or characters. First draft in two weeks? Only if I was on a deserted island for two weeks! But I guess it can be done.
Screw the muse! This is a business! I have weekly word count goals, and I have to hit them. Period. Because some day my $1M deal will hinge on it. So there’s no waiting for inspiration – that is a luxury. THere’s a reason why they still call writing work – we’re not always in the mood, and it isn’t always fun….but you still just force yourself to do it, no different than forcing yourself to show up at an office job every day at 9 am.
Love the attitude! You are right . . . if we are going to make this work, we need to do it, even if our muse is on vacation. Again, putting it in my day planner . . . :). I did work out this morning too!
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
The muse is a real piece of work some days, no doubt about it. For me it’s about time, if I can have an hour without distraction I’m solid.
I’m trying to make time today. I got started and then my daughter needed me to pick her up on her break from work.
Here is to an hour of no distrations! 😉
My muse is fickle and unreliable. She rarely shows up before I start writing, but here’s the thing. If I make myself start writing, and I write for long enough, she usually makes an appearance. What works for me is having a small easy-to-meet goal that I meet as often as I can. I’m a slow writer. Two weeks? Please. Not even on a desert island with zero distractions!
I think we all have those moments with our Muse. But yes, once I am in the swing of things, she starts peeking over my shoulder and whispering in my ear. I tried getting another thousand words in an hour done today but too many distractions. Hub is going on business trip and called me for various questions that I needed to look up–alas! Tomorrow is another day.
Muse? I don’t need no stinking muse!
LOL! Really – if I waited for the “boys in the basement” to kick in, I’d never write a word. But, music always seems to get me going and I also use the “write or die” program when I need an adrenaline induced kickstart. It’s a free program by a guy named Dr. Wicked (awesome name) and you set a time limit and a word count and hit “start” and the program forces you to write. And, yes, you write crap (sometimes) but as they say “you can’t edit a blank page”!
I wish I had a muse, because my writing mojo has been eerily absent for the last few days. But I love reading about other people’s inspiration! Mine isn’t that so much, as I do well with mindless junk – CNN, Palladia, anything that doesn’t attract my attention. So — is my muse the “white noise” of modern life?
I know this is the complete opposite of what most people are saying but sometimes when I’m in a writing funk…I just need a couple of days off. 🙂 I know, I know. While I whole-heartedly support the you can’t edit what you didn’t write mindset, I also think that I have times where what I’m putting on the page is such complete crap that I would be wasting more time trying to edit something useful out of it, rather than just starting fresh. I always put my butt in the chair, but some days it just flows…and I try to thoroughly embrace those days writing as much as I possibly can, while other days if the words just aren’t coming I find it’s better to just walk away and go back to my computer later in the day or the next day.
Dana, what a refreshing idea, I feel so much better for twiddling with the prologue of my book today – instead I was beating myself up that I was wasting time when I should be putting fresh words down! I’ll break out of this funk soon, but it sure does hurt when it’s not going well.
Thanks everyone for your responses!
Denny–will have to look into “First Draft” today. Good luck to you.
Robin–good for you! I don’t rely too much on my Muse but it’ll sneak in when I least expect it.
Susan–Inspiration comes with anything that might catch your eye or ear. Think of how many great ‘what if’s’ could happen if Congress doesn’t figure something out for our country by Aug. 1.
Dana–I have to agree about stepping away too. You would think as a stay-home mom I would have tons of time on my hands. Some days I do, other days I’m bombarded with errands, housework, laundry, etc. So scheduling time helps but if the flow is not there, I feel I’ve spent hours of wasted time when I do go back and edit crap.
Thanks again everyone!
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