Writer”s block vs Muse overload

Happy Thursday Everyone!

One of the worst things facing a writer is Writer’s Block. You all know what I mean. You sit before a blank screen or note pad, willing the words to come and yet hours, or even days later, you are still looking at the same blank page. It is not only discouraging and frustrating, but you wonder if you are out of ideas or just need a break. Each writer has a way to contend with the block and with any luck, the muse will return and you will me happily on your way to completing you next novel.

But what if the reverse happens?  Instead of being faced with a block, you are being bombarded with so many ideas that you can’t think straight. So  many new story ideas, dialogues and plotlines are racing through your head at breakneck speed that you can’t concentrate on any of them. This can be as detrimental to writing as a block. Maybe even worse.

How can that be? How can an author have too many ideas? One would think that to be a blessing and not a curse. Unfortunately, if too many ideas are coming at you at once, very little gets accomplished. You have a ton of great plans for what you hope will be a best seller and yet you are still looking at that same blank screen. Add all the other things going on in your life…work, family, social commitments, social media and promotion involved in selling your last release, and it  can become overwhelming.

I find this happens a lot lately and getting one voice/story to speak louder than another can be a real challenge. I know I need to work on a specific WIP, or I want to develop the plotline for a new story, yet all the other voices keep putting in their two cents worth. I know I should be writing, but keeping on top of emails, promotion ideas and social media requests are also begging to be taken care of. In the end, aside from a huge headache and feeling guilty that I must be neglecting something or someone important, I end up with several partially written books and a file filled with next to be written stories. The more frustrated I get and the more I try to settle down and get working on a story, the harder it becomes to focus and concentrate. However, if you ignore the voices and force yourself to focus on one story, you could miss out on some great ideas.

So, no matter where I go, I keep a note pad or my netbook handy. I have my want to be written stories in files and add to each as the ideas hit me. I do my best to stay focused, but if another story is speaking to me, I surrender to it and work on it for a while. I find this usually allows me to clear my head and when I do go back to the story I WANT to finish, the ideas flow more easily. Distancing myself from all writing for a day sometimes helps, but usually find my mind wandering back to one or more of my books. This may sound like a poor way to write, and one would wonder how I would ever get a story written or to completion. LOL I ask myself that some days. But, I also keep telling myself, you can’t deny the muse. In the end instead of one book, with any luck, I will have several. Things happen for a reason and when the time is right. I have to believe that when the book is meant to be finished and presented to the world, it will be.

How do you deal with this?

Have a great day and happy writing!

About B.J. Scott

With a passion for history and romance, I always have several exciting works in progress. Each manuscript offers a blend of passion, adventure and where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into the storyline, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. I also write contemporary, paranormal, time travel and romantic suspense. After several years in the nursing and child and youth work fields, I met and married my knight in shinning armor and he whisked me away to his castle by the sea. Actually, it is a century old home in a small town in SW Ontario, Canada, on the shore of Lake Erie, where we reside with our four dogs and a cat. While born in Canada, my ancestors were from Scotland, Ireland and England. Perhaps the reason for my fascination with anything Celtic. In the fourth grade, I discovered the work of C.S Lewis, and was hooked on books. While I dabbled in writing for many years, I began to pursue my writing dream in earnest when I completed the first book in my Fraser Brother Trilogy, Highland Legacy. Like all authors the road to publication was not smooth and there is always something new to learn. When I got my first contract, I was thrilled and grateful to my husband, family and friends for their support. One book spawned three and the Trilogy was born. Thanks to the readers. Without you there would be no need for authors or new books. When I am not writing, working at my childcare job or on my small business making had braided Celtic jewelry, Beaded book thongs and assorted other swag and gift idea, you will find me reading, camping or antique hunting. I am a PAN member of Romance Writers of America, World Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, Savvy Authors and several writer critique groups. I am also a proud member of the Clan Scott Society
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8 Responses to Writer”s block vs Muse overload

  1. Jamie Brazil says:

    I keep a notebook handy too… but in the end,seclusion seems to be the only thing to get me back on track. Someone should have warned us that guilt is part of the writer package.

    • B.J. Scott says:

      I agree about the guilt thing. I have never been overly productive in Dec, but things have settled down a little. Still have a lot of ideas popping in and out but actually managed to do a full story outline and two chapter of a current project so things are looking up

  2. Excellent post! Sometimes switching projects helps me jumpstart my muse.

  3. revrosevan says:

    I tend to work on more than one project at a time, too, and this actually seems to help things flow for most of the projects. It seems that when I’m stuck on one, I can move to another, and the first one gets jealous and gives me more ideas! It’s interesting, but it can also be frustrating. My biggest challenge is time management. Running my own business, promoting myself, taking care of my family, and devotion to my spiritual side are all just as important to me as writing. I try to stay balanced, but it’s definitely hard sometimes!

    • B.J. Scott says:

      I hear you! Time is the biggest factor and most difficult to problem to solve. Like you, I have a business of my own, that takes up a lot of my time…especially in the summer. I also work three days a week and have the home, hubby and other things to worry about. I do my best writing in the moring so it can be frustrating if the muse is speaking and I can’t answer it.

  4. diannefarb says:

    Great post! I try to focus on one project at a time (except for editing a previous project). I keep files, both paper and computer, where I jot down my ideas so i won’t lose the thought. But then I try to refocus on the story at hand. A couple of months ago I had two ideas, both equally appealing, vying for my attention. I finally settled on the one with the most notes in my file. There are still lots more ideas in my files, and I’ll get there eventually.

    • B.J. Scott says:

      Everyone has a way of handling it…or not LOL and what works best for you is what you need to do. I have three projects that are shouting at me and a few in the wings just waiting their turn. Yikes…now I know what person with mulitple personalities feel like LOL

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