Sometimes, I have trouble saying what I mean. I either fumble my words or go into a meandering stream of “likes” and “you know’s” as I float toward what it is I meant to say.
Usually, I’m at my fumbliest when I lack proper sleep and rest. You can imagine how bumbly I was at the height of the holiday season when sleep was at its lowest and the people interactions were at its highest. It’s like my mouth was falling down the stairs.
All that to say…
This past week was more challenging than usual in terms of writing. I know this may be contrary to say, but it’s like I had too many words. I wanted to address so many things in my Work In Progress (aka, The Hot Mess) that the words got clogged somewhere in the assembly line that starts with my brain elves tinkering with ideas, and then shooting those ideas down through my fingers to become inked words on paper.
Most of the time, a morning session of stream of consciousness writing can get me to push past that clog and get the assembly line back in working order. This time, though, was the first time in a long time that I found I had nothing to say.
I tried writing on my laptop. I tried scribbling in my notebook. I tried writing in different environments. I even tried writing other things, like new pages for my blog.
The malaise in writing culminated to yesterday, when I had the day off to catch up on my writing, a habit I adopted from my NaNoWriMo days. The only thing I seemed to have words for were crits for my friend, WookiesGirl. Though I had plenty of comments in my crits for her, I could barely write the email that went along with those crits. (I also owe Melissa an email about my WIP.)
Then, I encountered this post and just shook my head.
I was so focused on getting something for my WIP that I forgot the very reason why I started Novel-writing in the first place: to have fum.
Sure, I have goals, and I like to achieve them. But the reason why I started my goal was the fun and joy of writing and creating new worlds and characters. I enjoyed the challenge of it.
However, I became so focused on it, that I didn’t give my brain elves random things to work with. Heck, I didn’t even give them time to rest and recharge.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.-Kahlil Gibran
So, yesterday, I read without guilt. I tweeted without guilt. I watched Firefly and Avatar: The Last Airbender, Book 2. I had dinner with my husband, and laughed at how awesome we are.
And, when I got to my desk this morning, a torrent of words splashed on to the page. I couldn’t scribble fast enough.
So, Tell Me: How do you revive your muse?
12 thoughts on “Write it Out”
Great post, Liza. I can’t tell you how often I feel the same way… like I spend most of my time FIGHTING with my writing instead of ENJOYING it. Yikes! Honestly I don’t know how to revive my muse. Most of the time I feel like Dr. Frankenstein shooting her with electric bolts. The problem with monsters is they usually turn on you. So I guess today I’ll just turn some music on and see if my muse would rather dance than write.
Thanks for sharing, Debbie! And I hope you danced your socks off! 😉
I think the big lesson for me: knowing the difference between lack of discipline and need of rest. And admitting that I DO need rest and it’s OK to rest.
Being someone who is always *go go go you can do it AAAhh*, I’m very hard on myself when it comes to “lacking” something and I end up pushing myself beyond a smart person’s threshold for work (coughcoughtworetailjobsduringholidayseasonANDnanowrimocoughcough).
Thanks for stopping by, and happy writing to you!
I am so glad I read this post. Now I can actually go back to my draft. The link was amazing! Thanks:)
You’re welcome, and thanks for visiting! Happy writing to you!
Wow, I didn’t realise how much you were struggling! I’m so
glad you’re back on track. Keep it up – maybe Twitter your word
count each day so we can cheer you on 🙂
Thank you for helping me realize that it’s not a lack of discipline if I just needed to rest.
I’d been writing full tilt since November, entering in NaNoWriMo while working two retail jobs as the holiday season began to peak. I continued writing like that through December: averaging 4 hours of sleep/day, 16-hour workdays. Though the working hours relented after the first of the year, I just saw it as an opportunity to spend more time on the novel. After that first week, I think my elves went on strike 😉
I had thought about posting WIP updates on Wednesday to keep my accountable. I think I will carry that out. I just didn’t want my blog to be all about the novel. It would get boring really fast 😉
Thank you so much for visiting and sharing and being part of my epiphany!
Like seasons that sometimes come later than expected, our inspiration for writing eventually shows up strong. Blessings to you, Liza…
To you as well! Thank you for your constant encouragement!
I know the feeling as it happens to me often! I sometimes try to do little exercises to get my pen flowing, such as only making outside observations of my surroundings. Or listing everything I’m wearing, both physically and metaphorically. Sometimes it leads to nothing but mush, and sometimes a solid image or concept emerges that I run with!
But I agree with you, there are days you just have to stop writing and relax in order to let that inner writer take a break. Writing should fundamentally be about your own enjoyment and inner fulfillment. Taking a break and relaxing is often a great refresher for me too!
Thanks for stopping by! I know, there’s nothing like scribbling and saying the most random things to get my brain elves tinkering. I’ve never encountered a completely dead brain of nothing before: no images, no ideas, nothing. It was kind of startling.
Thankfully, I was able to both forgive myself and realize that resting didn’t mean I lacked discipline but that I’m human. (another shocker) 😉
Thank you for sharing!
Yay! Sounds like your inner artist needed a wee vacation. I’m glad you nourished her without guilt!
Yes, so am I! I still have a long way to go to get back to “rested” but I’m happy to have my words back.
I think the most jarring part to all this was realizing I COULD get writer’s block. I was with Stephen King when he said: “”I’d never had writer’s block before…I wasn’t even sure it really existed. I thought it was just other writers being lazy.”
I have always been disciplined and made myself write; so, when I found I couldn’t write anything, I was frustrated more for feeling that I lacked discipline than anything else. Then I thought, “Well, it’s not like I lift weights every day. I need to have rest days in between for the muscles to grow…sometimes more…”and so started my epiphany toward “resting” and “progress”.
Thanks for visiting!