Even though I’m not a true-believer in writer’s block, I do have an healthy respect for my muse. Not the traditional representations of some fairy-like creature who sits on my shoulder and whispers tales into my ear, but a creative energy inside that, if not nurtured and cared for, can get sick and go quiet.
I’m in the middle of the process on this book that wears my muse out, plain-and-simple. I’m working on my second draft.
When I’m working on my first draft, words flow like wine. I allow myself to follow any path the characters take me on–explore dark alleys–and if I don’t like the way that turns our, I simply open a new file and tackle the scenario from a different angle–take a new path to an alternate ending. My muse is happy. Frolicking in a field, splashing around in a stream, she feeds on the creative moments. Basks in the sunlight of a story weaved and characters created.
This process: the breaking down, rewording and reworking of sentences; the filling of plot holes; the attention given to elements and structure of a story; bores the living crap out of her.
Without ample time to run free, she fills with angst and I get restless. The glacial slow process of rewriting is made worse by this strong desire to create a new story. During this time is when some of the best ideas for new stories come to me. Starving while my analytical brain has control, my muse will take up residence in my dreams. She’ll over-hear pieces of conversations and whisper “what ifs?” to me. Try to lure me away from the task at hand so can be nourished once again.
Personally, I’m trying to find a way to carve enough time into my schedule so that I can revise a current story and start a new one, but I’m afraid that muse–she can be rather assertive–will take over and succeed in luring me away from my edits.
Any other writers out there have similar experiences? How do you keep your muse happy and well fed?