Saturday, April 6, 2013

Give the Muse Fairy a Vacation!

Tip of the Day: Looking for cover art? My friend Traci directed me to - it's an incredible database of stock photos!

I'm a frantic writer. Once I get a golden idea, I write constantly. Evenings, weekends, in the car, in bed, in the bathtub - doesn't matter where or when, I must write until the book is done.

It's not an easy way to live.

Give the Muse Fairy a Vacation!
courtesy of Microsoft Clipart

And once I've vomited out the first draft of a book, the last thing I want to do is write. In fact, every time I finish a book I quit. I tell my husband I'm done. I look for jobs online. I consider other careers. I dream about going back to school and getting my MA in Museum Studies (my BA is in medieval history with a minor in evolutionary anthropology).

So how do I get the writing mojo back again? I do something new or something that makes me happy - and here's the key - it has nothing to do with writing. Writing prompts annoy me. Begging the muse to come back is futile (even muse fairies need a vacation once in a while).

Here's how I recharge:

1 - I read - but only books outside of the genres I write. This means no YA and no epic fantasy. I love drowning in thrillers (James Rollins), detective novels (Joe Konrath), romance (Tracy Garvis Graves), scifi (Ernest Cline), classics (Chaucer), nonfiction (Dian Fossey), and mystery (Elizabeth Peters).

2 - Day trip - I visit museums, zoos, and aquariums. These are some of my favorite brain vacations.

3 - Volunteer - I help out at my kids' school or with my local Friends of the Library.

4 - Catch up on TV shows - Right now I'm loving Vikings. I've also got Game of Thrones, Season 1 on Blu-ray waiting for me.

5 - Clean my house - Okay, so I'm not a clean freak. I don't clean anything but the bathrooms on a regular basis. So when I finish a book, I tend to look away from my computer for the first time in weeks and see that the house really needs a good scrubbing. I organize, donate, and toss.

By the time I've worked my way through a combination of these stress busters, I always think, "OMG, I really miss writing! Why have I been wasting my time with all of this other crap when there's a novel waiting to be written?"

You may have already guessed by now...I'm not the writer who says you must write 1,000 per day every day of the year. When I'm in the writing groove, I frequently pump out 3,000 to 4,000 words a day. It works for me. The books get written - and that's the most important part of being a novelist.

Megg, Miss Enchanted ePubber


Arch said...

Well I guess you really needed a much needed R&R and some good books to read

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Dahlia Legacy said...

I agree, sometimes you just need to realize when you need to recharge and give yourself the time needed to get back to doing what you love to do.

However too, you should reach out to other writers. That way you have people that get you and can tell you don't give up, when you need it the most.