Thursday, 26 January 2012

How do you find your writing muse, AGAIN?

When I decided to take my writing dreams seriously in early 2010, I didn't truly believe I would stay the distance; that I would write on a daily basis or see my stories published. I also thought writing and maintaining a blog on a weekly basis would prove too much work. As it was, by September 2011, I was well on the way to proving myself wrong. I was a published author. My blog was a moderate success. I was embarking on a three-month work break to write my YA science fiction novel. Unfortunately, as life so often does, an enormousness asteroid struck during the end of 2011. Not literally, of course. But changes in my personal circumstances forced me to temporarily suspend my writing and blogging.

Now, having decided I've spent enough time feeling sorry for myself, I've decided to get back to my writing dreams. But I need to locate my muse and drag her back, kicking and screaming if need be, to help inspire and motivate me once again. But she's gone into hiding, and I've gotten used to spending a little extra time in bed and flicking the television channels at night. I've grown lazy. I've also perfected a long list of excuses as to why I can not write at the moment.

Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get back my muse? What methods do YOU use to get back into your writing after a long break?

27 comments:

  1. Just write. You may have to grind through the bad days when your inspiration is off-planet, but eventually it will come back.

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  2. Only you and your muse will know, lovely Ellen! I think - I know - something will just go "click" inside of you and et voila, you will be back in your muse's arms! Just like that - as the great Tommy Cooper said!

    Continued big hugs from me!!

    Take care
    x

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  3. Try editing an already completed story, preferably something older so your muse will fuss about how you are such a better writer now. Then you'll start revising the story, realize you want to write and away you go!

    Good luck!!

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  4. Go back to something you wrote earlier and let it kick-start some ideas.
    We're just glad you're back, Ellie.

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  5. like the others have said, edit something complete... do what i sort of did, put yourself in a story... and give it a happy ending.

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  6. Journal. Walk in peaceful or busy places. Visit museums. Read books. Look through picture books. Meditate. Journal again and repeat. IT'll come back.

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  7. Try to write every day at a time that's best for you - first thing in the morning after a cup of coffee when the house is quiet works best for me. And start small so you don't scare your Muse - like commit to thirty minutes every day instead of two hours. You could take a writing class or join a writing group - the external pressure works for me.

    Good luck!

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  8. I have a quote hanging above my computer from Jack London: "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

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  9. Free writing is good, without trying to produce any specific piece of work. Just start with one word that you like and write whatever comes into your head. Don't think about writing to a structure to make a poem or story. Let yourself ramble on and play with words.

    But don't beat yourself up if it's just not happening. When you get some sense of equilibrium back into your life, things will begin to flow more easily again.

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  10. Hi Ellie! After reading the previous comments, I agree most with Shelly and Joanne Fox. Allow yourself more time if need be. Do those things for yourself that bring you a smile or laugh, and also take those peaceful, contemplative walks. I've never kept a journal until recently and whether I do free-writing, or writing about a prompt...I'm in awe of what I write sometimes! Don't try to force any kind of schedule yet. Write for one minute a day, or two, or none. And know that we are "here" for you...even all way across the world! :)

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  11. Already lots of good suggestions here! What about maybe writing toward a deadline, like a contest or something? Maybe one with a theme? That way you have an end point and/or a subject.

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  12. Welcome back.

    I never have the problem of 'getting back into writing' because I write every day for my work. (and my blogs, and my diaries etc etc. I'd have a problem stopping) But writing FICTION is different.

    I suggest you challenge yourself to making up a story a day about someone you've seen. Create their persona based on what they were wearing, what they were doing, etc. Give yourself a word count (500 isn't excessive) and just do it. It might be awful at first - but an occasional sentence will have flashes of your muse in it.

    Good luck

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  13. I find that television is a good way to get back my muse. Welcome back to blogging.

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  14. I'd say, find that WiP you took a break on and read it. Usually, I don't think it's a good idea, but it might just be the thing you need to rekindle the flame.

    Failing that, it might be a good idea to just spend a lot of time reading until your muse comes by wondering why the heck you aren't looking for her. Then you put a chloroform rag to her nose. ;-P

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  15. Did music help you back in the day? If so, play those tunes that were with you during that creative period.

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  16. I always regret it when I take a writing break because it's always so hard to get back into it. You need to find that routine again, which means, well, just doing it. It helps to read through what you have so far in your ms too.

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  17. Welcome back! When you find out how to get it back let me know - I need the help!

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  18. Welcome back!

    It sounds like you've gotten some good advice. I'd agree with going back over and older project--perhaps something that you wrote in a previous burst of inspiration.

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  19. Do some short little bits of whimsy or flash fiction that challenges you to write but doesn't require a huge investment of time or energy. Just get used to writing again.

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  20. I always find it I take a look at an old piece of write, whether it's something you have finish but not quite happy with and have a read through. See if you can make it much better. Or try read through the last few chapters of your novel with fresh eyes, make a few changes along the way. That I find gets me back into the flow of things.

    Welcome back and good luck

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  21. take on a challenge or prompt or contest. do a bloghop. it will come back, it missed you too!

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  22. Fiction writing is about entertainment, so the only way I've found to really break a slump is to write something that entertains me, first and foremost. Try writing something that will excite you, even if it isn't particularly marketable. Try throwing together some short ideas, maybe dream up a plot or two and scribble down notes.

    The only thing holding you back is your own mind telling you it doesn't want to create. Stimulate it and show it who's boss!

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  23. Oh, and if you're interested in some creative therapy, I will be hosting a writing contest at the Pill Hill Press forum, starting tomorrow. It would be great to have you along for the ride:

    http://pillhillpress.lefora.com/2011/12/27/winter-shootout-2012-writing-contest-sign-up

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  24. Blogfest help I think. You may find that your muse has changed - maybe dyed her hair, but I think after life changes out muse changes as well..

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  25. Oh I have *so been there* Ellie. I can empathise. Breathe in the fresh air of life and friends.

    I find country walks a fabulous inspiration or take a holiday and walk on the beach. Hang out with people and talk because I have found that withdrawing/ internalising just makes for breathing stale ideas and toxic moods. x

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  26. Hi Ellie .. lots of ideas here - perhaps start writing about something else you enjoy .. eg cooking - old Devon recipes .. or the natural world outside ..

    It'll come back you've had so much going on .. good luck and we're just glad you're back with us ..

    Thinking of you .. cheers Hilary

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  27. since my move, i've only written ONE new short/short... thought i was back 'into it', but no...

    seems i'm blaming myself for things beyond my control... that's NEVER good... knowing it intellectually does not negate the emotional aspects

    my muse also refuses to present herself...

    perhaps the warmer weather will help, both you and me?

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