I have come to understand there are no coincidences in writing; the information you need comes to you when you are ready to receive it.
Sometimes, I get so frustrated. I make time to write. Hell. I wake up at 3 a.m in the morning to write. I take out my pen and notebook. I open it full of anticipation to FINALLY have a chance to get some writing done.
Not a whisper. My muse decided she's taking a holiday in Hawaii without me.
It makes me want to scream. Because here I am. Wanting to write. Ready to write. But the words aren't there. Because I don't know what I'm supposed to be writing.
I used to go into a flat spin because OMG I'm having a writer's block. But it's not really true. It's just my muse taking a break to sort out what she wants to happen.
Or if you don't like such fanciful words, it's my mind sorting out the spaghetti that's my story and plot ideas. If I don't give it time, there's no way to know where I'm supposed to go.
So once my mind/muse is ready to deal with whatever happens next, I'll know what to write. In the mean time, I can just chill... Maybe even catch up on my blogging.
Do you ever find that information you need to write comes through exactly the way you need it, when you really need it? What do you do while you wait?
I've had these moments now and then, but I've learned that when this happens it's usually because I am trying to make myself write the wrong thing. (ie: getting part A finished before moving on, when really part B wants to be written right now.) If I find that I absolutely can't settle on something- or if I'm just too tired, or feeling burned out- I do some "spinning" (jotting down short, incomplete sentences, emotions, etc. ), then when I am ready to do the actual writing, everything is right there, all primed and waiting to be fleshed out. This way, I feel no time is ever wasted- and for me that is a very important piece, as time is a limited commodity :)ReplyDelete
Information comes when I don't have a pen. -_- Or when I wake up with a fix for everything just long enough to convince myself that 'I don't need to write it down. I'll remember it' before dosing off again.ReplyDelete
While I wait? Write something else, edit (words are already there so muse can skype from her holiday) or I read something. If I out time aside for writing, I'm not going to let my flighty muse hold me back...Although it doesn't always work.
Writing requires patience, and not just because there's a lot of work and time involved, but it's also knowing what to write at the right time.ReplyDelete
I know there are a lot of blog posts and peeps that say a regular schedule is the best thing a writer can do, but sometimes that can be harmful. Sometimes its sitting down to the blank page when you feel the words are ready to come is the thing you have to do. A regimen in creativity can lead to writer's block.
My best advice is relax and take a deep breath. Maybe allow yourself a full night's sleep. Listen to your dreams, read, work a new idea if that suits you, something to take your mind off your current project. Don't give up! Have patience. :)
When you can't write what you want then just write what is front of you (or in front of your mind). Write descriptions about what you see in your room, out the window, in the mirror. write about the darkness when you close your eyes. Write about what has made you laugh or cry or just made you feel. Write about cold or fire...ReplyDelete
Do you see a theme here. Sure, you can't turn on the tap and the ideas for your story will flow out, but nothing can stop you from writing. There are no wasted words on the screen or on paper in the same way that there are no wasted breathes. You breath to live, you write to be a writer.
It is unimportant whether your writing is good or bad or total garbage. writing is a craft as well as an art. As you say, sometimes the muse is on vacation, the art isn't there, time to practice the craft.
I have had a lot of these moments, where my muse has taken an extended holiday without me. I catch up with my other writing (short stories and articles for newspapers), blogging and reading other books.ReplyDelete
I write really bad filler stuff while I wait because I'm not patient enough to wait ;) Then I have to cut it all out later when I'm editing!ReplyDelete
Jonah Lehrer (from his book, 'Imagine') says that the best things to do while waiting for a breakthrough are drink a beer (check), take a bath (check), take a nap (check), or go on vacation (not so much). I find most of my a-ha moments come when I'm in the car listening to music, or just before I fall asleep. Pen and paper is always on standby in my life.ReplyDelete
Right now, I'm hoping it will all appear at the right moment!ReplyDelete
When trying to write but unable to, try blocking. Like, if you are in a story and don't know what to write next, describe some of your characters more fully. This may help you lead into more action.ReplyDelete
Write a short poem or a short pop song. The mind is often an odd thing to discern, Keeping thinking "what if" more. Flaws of heroes, strengths of weaker characters.
You have more than 39 days, talk to your friends and try to focus on your story; maybe a group discussion can spur you on.
One thing I know, you can do it. Okay?
I hate those moments! ONce I realize my muse has gone on a break, though I immediately move on to something else--like working on my blog or other writing group responsibilities.ReplyDelete
Did you say 3 am? 3AM???? *passes out*ReplyDelete
My muse eloped months ago, lol! Still haven't found her.
When writer's block hits, I just write badly. What else can you do?ReplyDelete
I have a story slowly opening itself out in my head, but as soon as I get my pen out to write a few notes (not even sentences!) I dry up... nothing at all!ReplyDelete
So I definitely feel your pain. It will happen. Probably when you're in the shower without a pen!
I'm going to be honest here and admit... when the words don't come to me, I watch the telly. I take a bath. I read "real-life" magazines, batch-cook or facebook stalk people. I scour thousands of recipes online or decide to be a Domestic Goddess after all. Mostly, I browse through Pinterest, wishing I'd won the lottery.ReplyDelete
This is why I'm not published!
Can your muse fit me in her suitcase? I've never been to Hawaii...
Sometimes it happens exactly like that, the block clears and ideas cascade forth again.ReplyDelete
Often the block turns out to be a point where I just have to shift POV for a while.
Yes, you're right. Even if I've got some big plot point coming up and I don't know how I'm going to pull it off, somehow the mind supplies the means just when it's needed. Sometimes, this does require walking away from the story and doing something else. Then a key turns in a lock, and the solution comes tumbling out of my brain!ReplyDelete
My muse might want to write at 3am, but think my husband would protest if he woke up and I wasn't in bed. Although yes, that is when ideas hit.ReplyDelete
Argh, yes! This can be so frustrating, but like you point out...my muse always resurfaces. Usually in the exact moment I've decided to finally let go of trying to pin it down. ;)ReplyDelete
I get panicky when the words are coming to me, flowing and barrelling from my fingertips, all because I suspect it can't be working that well. Me and my muse have had an interesting week lol!!!ReplyDelete
Poetry. And cheese. Yup. If the words aren't coming, I sit back and allow my pen, er, fingers to randomly plop down whatever words they want. (So freeing...) It only takes a drop to prime the pump. =)ReplyDelete
I know what you mean! I have issues with working the middle of a story. "The muddle middle." I usually just skip ahead and work on the ending and then go back later for the middle.ReplyDelete
Right now I'm having trouble with a novella I've been editing for too long, it drained me out. But, as soon as I started something else my muse came back :) I just have to make sure I go back and finish that novella.
"Wanting to write. Waiting to write. But the words aren't there ..." My dear friend, I empathize with that reality. I love telling stories, but life sometimes just sucks the gray, or is grey, matter from my brain. Work, home projects, family matters, and just run-of-the-mill shit altogether won't let me write the first word on the page. So, I just settle for sharing a few old pieces from the not-so-distant past with new and old friends for the time being. Thank you for visiting my site and I promise that new and better days are ahead ... JackieReplyDelete
I do find that I take periods where I am mentally sorting my writing. If I am "pantsing it" (and I usually am) it can be slow going most of the time. But I have learned to be patient with it. I am happier with what I have if I take the time I need to get things sorted out.ReplyDelete
I used to do two or three posts a week and it really was draining me, so I started doing just one a week so I could refresh and visit other blogs. It helps me to refocus, just that little break.ReplyDelete
Yes, it happens. That block is a break to develop new ideas. The mind works in strange ways that go beyond our understanding.ReplyDelete
I really hate that momentsReplyDelete
If I realize that my muse gone on a break, then I immediately move on for my blog or other activities.