Writer’s Muck

I am trying not to call what I am currently experiencing … writer’s block.  Once you say that  out loud, it becomes real ya know. I read The Secret.

But I’ve been stuck.  Stuck in the muck of a character’s transition and I am having trouble getting out of it.

I lost my muse and I can’t seem to find her, so instead I’m eating candy. Lots and lots of candy, chocolate and stone fruits. But I’m worried. Worried that I’ll be stuck without feeling inspired for a while.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve  started a new job that has changed my work hours and moved me from part-time to full-time hours.  This is taking a toll on my energy and my writing.

The reality is that I have to work a day job, because I am not independently wealthy and neither is my partner. We gotta work to pay the bills.  In my life before Baby G, I would work my day job and then come home and write late into the night. But now  I am a mom. A mom who hasn’t slept through the night in 9 months.

My person is a culmination of all my different roles in life: A woman, a lover (an occasional fighter) a mother and a writer.

I haven’t gone more than a few days without writing since I was about 10 years old. And now life and all of its responsibilities are making me prioritize, and writing is being pushed aside a bit.

I figure things will balance out once again, i just have to keep my eye on the prize. Squeeze writing in whenever I can, an hour everyday and a bigger chunk of time on the weekends.

In the meantime, as I wait for my tired muse to come back to me, I read a great article on http://www.chicklitbee.com/2012/06/5-ways-to-find-your-writing-mojo.html that just happen to come out  last week, written by author Malena Lott.

It gave me some ideas on how to get past my current lack of writing mojo. I also asked a few writer friends of mine what they do when they find themselves staring at a blank screen or not feeling as inspired.

Here were some of the tips I got:

1.  Lucie Simone  Do something physical like going for a walk to get the blood pumping to your brain. Take deep breaths. And try meditating. It may not happen immediately, but you will find the answer. You can also try working on other story-related activities like creating a scrapbook or doing character interviews. Or, just read a book, watch a movie. Let your brain relax and play for a while. The worst thing to do is to try to force your way thru it. Get some breathing room between it and you and then return to it when you’re reenergized

2. Laura Sheehan When I do get stuck, however, I like to go back and edit what I’ve written.  Not only is it a good use of time if you aren’t feeling your muse, but it sometimes helps get your head back in the story. You’ll be spell-checking a paragraph and you’ll read something your character said and – WHAM! – you now have a great idea for how to start the next chapter.

Some people suggest skipping to a different part of your story (e.g., the end) when you get stuck somewhere in the middle, but I am such a linear writer, I just can’t do that.  As a pantser, I’m not always sure where the end will be for my characters, so skipping to the end is simply out of the question… but for some of my writer friends, this works wonderfully for them.  Then they just have to connect everything in the middle (like Stephanie Meyer, who wrote the last half of Twilight first, and then went back to the beginning and connected things up).

If all else fails: I step away.  If I’ve been staring at a blank computer screen for more than half an hour, I step back. I’ll discuss it with my husband or mother (a fellow writer), read a book, go for a walk, take a dance class… anything to get me out of my head and hopefully get the juices flowing again.

3. Christina Pazsitsky: Comedienne.  I get out of the house. Go get my nails did. Go for a walk. Or eat something I shouldn’t. But don’t do that!

4. Nancy Scrofano: When I’m stuck and looking for inspiration, I listen to music. Music really helps my writing. It helps me clear my head, refocus, and generate new ideas. I’m always on the lookout for new songs and new artists, even if they aren’t necessarily “new” but just new to me. Music helps to keep the creative juices flowing.