Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Finding your Muse

At times I feel I've lost my muse. When this happens, writing can be tough. Most writers just expect their muse to be by their side every time they sit down to write. Unfortunately it's not always that simple. I bet if you ask any writer they have had some point where they've lost their muse.

When you lose yours here's a few things you can do to find it. First of all relax. Yes it can be stressful, especially when you're under a deadline but the more you worry, the less likely your little friend will come back. They don't like to work in stressful environments. They also don't like too much pressure.

Second, you should try to get away. Go someplace you are unfamiliar with, someplace new, an environment you've never been. Give them something new to work with.

Try scribbling your thoughts in a notebook. Get all of the junk out and just write to get the words on the paper. Let this exercise free you from the daily thoughts that cloud your head.

Try a new food or a new exercise. Go to the library and pick up a book you would never read. Put on some music that you've never listened to. Sometimes our muse gets bored with our routine. Try writing at night if you usually write in the morning or vice versa.

Get some fresh air. Whether that be in the city (it might not be so fresh) or in the country. Take a walk and let the sounds penetrate your ears.

If you've tried everything on this blog and your muse still isn't behaving then you might be in more serious need of help. You should try The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. This book is there to assist you and I think that if you give it a chance you just might find yourself and your muse together again.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Recording your ideas

Sometimes it's tough to record my ideas. There are times when I get ideas in the shower, driving in the car, or even while I'm sleeping. And you're probably wondering how do you get those ideas down? I've considered buying a dry erase board for the shower. I have bought a digital recorder. And I've considered checking myself into a sleep disorder clinic just to have my thoughts recorded at night.

I find that the most reliable way to get my ideas down is to carry a small notebook and pen with me all the time. Okay, so I don't take it in the shower but I can keep it in the bathroom next to me. I can take it in the car when I have some place to go. This simplifies the process, this way all of my ideas are in one book and I can flip through and cross out when necessary.

Once I have several ideas I input them in the computer. My husband and I are attempting to digitize our lives to cut down on the paper load in our house.

I don't know what method works for you but there are several ways to record your ideas. The digital record worked for awhile. It was great when I was driving but it seemed to always get lost in my purse. Now most cell phones have a voice recording option. I would recommend using your cell, it will save you money and most people can access it quickly in the car.

Just get your ideas down, even if they seem ridiculous. You never know when you might be able to use them.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Music and Writing

Setting the mood can be essential for some writers. For me, music is a necessity for my writing workspace. It doesn't matter what kind of music just something that can set the mood. If I'm working on a specific scene, the mood can be created with the type of music I'm listening to. But if I have no idea where I'm going with my writing, I can listen to anything.

I absolutely love my iPod! It was a gift that I thought I'd never really use, boy was I wrong. It's been one of the most cherished gifts I've ever received. The shuffle is fantastic because I have over 10,000 songs on my iPod and most likely haven't listened to a quarter of them. I of course, have my favorites on different play lists.

This fall when I start writing my new book, I am going to put together a play list for the book. This way I have an idea of the moods and themes of the book. It should be a different way for me to write. I'll let you know how it goes.

Usually when I write - (Before iPod) - I had a CD of writing music that I listened to. The songs were all instrumentals and I felt that was good for focusing. Now I find half the time I don't even hear the music in the background. It's just there for those short laps in typing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Discipline of Being a Writer

Being a writer isn't about being perfect or being the best. It's about discipline. When I'm writing a book, I write everyday, except Sundays. That is unless I want to write on Sunday and in that case I write.

I don't have time to write, you say. How do you? Well I have limited time because I have two small children. I write around their nap schedules and bedtime. And believe me it's not easy because one child doesn't usually nap but the other does, so it's about being creative enough to keep one child quietly busy, while the other one sleeps.

How much should you write a day? I write 2,000 words no less. I can write more if the napping is going well. But I must hit 2,000 words. I believe one of the worst things you can do as a writer is to stare at a blank page. Write something, anything. Even if it is about the weather or what you had for dinner last night.

I think a writer needs drive. The drive to keep going even when you've written 2000 words that don't even make sense. Isn't your goal just to write? Don't worry about the quality, you can work on that later.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Crazy Characters in my Head

So, you want to be a writer? Are you prepared to be awakened in the middle of a deep sleep by a long distance, collect call from one of your crazy characters? Are you aware that sometimes these characters can be worse than stalkers? Worse than your own children?

Let me tell you, I am constantly bothered by my characters. Ones in current books and ones who haven't an identity yet but are demanding one. It can get quite tiring dealing with the children I create. And yes, I consider them my children - my babies. After all, that is what they are, aren't they?

If you're considering becoming a writer, I think you might first consider your genre. At least so far I haven't had to worry about killers and psychopaths terrifying me - but you just might.