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Losing the Muse!! (or, it’s all part of the process….)

The Rich Writer: Losing the Muse!! (or, it’s all part of the process….)

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Losing the Muse!! (or, it’s all part of the process….)


Today, after weeks when I was busy with various other projects, I decided to spend a few hours digging back into my new novel. I have the whole thing plotted out—have characters I believe—and an awesome setting. It should’ve been easy, right?

Right. Here’s what my day looked like:

8:00 Check and answer emails. Realize the sudden urgency of going through everything stuck in my SPAM filter.

8:30 Wonder if I’m procrastinating

8:40 Boot up laptop (which has no email program) to work on novel. Stare at screen. Reread previous ten pages. Stare at screen. Reread outline, synopsis, character notes, and entire beginning of book.

9:30 Notice coffee cup is empty. Refill. Notice sofa is messy. Straighten. Notice that laundry needs to be done.

No, I draw the line at laundry.

9:40 Notice that I haven’t written anything in the past hour and wonder if I’ve lost the muse. Have severe crisis of faith: can I still write? What if the other books were flukes? What if this is a stupid story idea?

10:30 Realize that the ENTIRE problem is that I need to do more research. In fact, I probably need to fly to the book’s location so I can take notes on the setting, people, and small-town culture. Research lodging and travel costs. Look for blogs written by locals in the San Juan Islands (the book’s location.)

11:30 Realize that I’m getting sidetracked again and stare at the screen some more.

The weird thing is—I’m a very focused writer. This doesn’t usually happen to me. In fact, I could have kept writing, kept slogging down the plot road laid out in my outline—but I knew in my gut it was the wrong road. In my roundabout way, all the above was my way of trying out half a dozen different approaches until finally—when I had only half an hour until the kids would claim my time and attention—I found the right trail. But more on that tomorrow. Right now, I have to go write!

:) Cheryl

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