Sun. Surf. Frothy drinks with little umbrellas. Gorgeous sunsets and gentle breezes. SIGH. Sounds like the perfect vacation, right?
I’m sure it is. And my Muse, that backstabbing b#*^!, has gone without me.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of the time, I love my Muse. She’s helped me write several books and countless short stories. But honestly, she disappears rather abruptly, and it drives me nuts. These are the days I sit in front of the computer, staring at the blank screen, feeling hopeless and alone.
So, what’s a writer to do when inspiration runs dry, and the Muse is off on her own little adventure? Here are a few ideas for you if you find yourself in this same place:
1. Don’t give up. You are still a writer. You WILL write something again. If you’re like me, you may have a tendency to be overly dramatic and imagine that your writing career has ended because you’ve hit a bad patch. Don’t fall into this trap of negative thinking. Try saying an affirmation a few times a day, something like, “I am a successful, prolific writer with many creative ideas.” If you’re so inspired, take a peek at my blog on affirmations and incorporate some of those suggestions. In no time, you’ll be pecking away furiously at your computer.
2. Use the time to edit. All writers have unfinished or unsuccessful pieces lying around collecting dust or languishing on the hard drive. Pick up one of your old stories and do some editing. Try re-writing scenes from another character’s perspective or taking the characters in an entirely new direction in a scene. You may find something magical in this process that excites you about this unfinished project and propels you to work on it once more.
3. Create a whole new story from a writing prompt. Places like Writers’ Digest online have wonderful writing prompts that you can use to get your creative juices flowing. Who knows? Maybe something fabulous will grow from this experience, and at least you’re writing something!
4. Read something you’ve been wanting to read. Reading other writers’ work always makes you a better writer in turn. Don’t hesitate to use your writing down time to read. I just finished reading Mark Lawrence’s King of Thorns, the second in his Broken Empire series. Now I’m reading some nonfiction Tarot books for classes I’m creating. No matter what you read, the process will remind you that you, too, are a writer with something new, vibrant, and important to say.
5. Have a drink and relax. No, really. If your Muse has gone gallivanting, maybe you need a break, too. It’s not a bad idea to take a day off now and then. The computer will be waiting when you’re ready to return. And don’t beat yourself up about it, either. You deserve a vacation as long as you don’t stay too long.
So here’s one for all of us: