What To Do When Your Muse Goes On A Vacation
As an author, you know that creeping, uncomfortable feeling. Every now and then, it comes uninvited and becomes your unwelcome yet very persistent guest. It haunts you. It confuses you. And then it hits you: Your muse has decided to take a few days off without your permission, leaving you stuck in the middle of your future masterpiece.
You don't get new writing ideas, or you do but you seem unable to turn your ideas into sentences, paragraphs, chapters. You feel that your writing is going nowhere, you are going nowhere, and you start questioning your own talent and skills.
Before you throw the computer out of the window and renounce writing forever, try these simple steps. Believe me, they work. Guaranteed! (Actually, you may find out that you don't really need your spoiled, capricious muse after all.)
1. Don't obsess about it
Okay, so maybe you've planned to write a certain number of pages or words every day and now you're falling behind the schedule. So what? Relax. When things get better, you will soon and easily make up for the lost time. Writing is a creative process that should be allowed to flow naturally. You cannot (and you mustn't) force yourself to write at all costs when you don't feel like it. Writing is fun and you should find pleasure in it. Let's face it, if you don't write with passion, the result will be flat anyway. So stop worrying about it; a short break will do you good.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
Look for new experiences. It doesn't matter what you do, and it doesn't need to be related to your book. Just get out of the house and have fun. Go away for the weekend, try a new exciting activity, go to a concert, meet new people. New experiences bring new waves of energy into your life and wake up your tired brain. Forget about your writing for a couple of days and focus on new, fun stuff instead. You will see that new ideas will start popping up in your head in no time and you will find joy in writing again.
3. Create a writing ritual
Create your personal writing ritual. Some writers have their own "writing corner" where they don't do anything else but write. Others have "writing clothes" that they wear only when they work on their book. You can have your personal "writing tea", "writing food" or "writing scent". Such rituals get you in the mood for writing and send a clear signal to your brain telling it that now it's time to be creative. If possible, set a specific time for writing every day. Switch off the cell phone and tell your family and friends not to disturb you, unless it's a question of life and death. Stick to your writing rituals and indulge in your writing routine. You will grow to love it.
When your muse leaves, it is your chance to experience new things, come up with fresh ideas and eventually become a better writer. So don't fear your muse's vacation time: You know you can write another great chapter of your masterpiece without her.
Barbara Conelli is an internationally published bestselling author, seasoned travel writer specializing in Italy, and Chiquenist on the mission to bring Fantastic Fearless Feminine Fun into women's lives. In her charming, delightful and humorous Chique Books filled with Italian passion, Barb invites women to explore Italy from the comfort of their home with elegance, grace and style, encouraging them to live their own Dolce Vita no matter where they are in the world.
Radio Show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/barbaraconelli
"Put on your Borsalino and swing those hips, baby."
Charming, poetic, delightful and humorous travel and life stories about extraordinary Milanese women, men who have succumbed to their temptation, and the art of living your own dolce vita no matter where in the world you are.