Sunday, April 8, 2018

Muse Take the Wheel #muse #writing #amwriting #burnout

For the last few months I've been having a hard time writing. After focusing so hard on my Frostbite Falls stories for the last few months, and spending so much time promoting the stories in December I was completely burned out. I expected it. Editing and promoting four releases in one month is a lot of work so I knew come January I was going to need rest. I all but put it into my calendar. But when the burn out drifted into February and than March I really started to worry. And the more I worried, the more pressure I put on myself about needing to write, the harder it got to write, and the cycle continued on and on.

Its not that I didn't have ideas. For some writers that might be a problem, but it never has been for me. I always have lots of ideas. I have whole notebooks full of ideas that I always hope to get back to. I can't remember a time when I didn't have a few completed first drafts on my hard drive just waiting to see the light of day again. But as much as I tried , I just couldn't get into the groove with any of these ideas. I couldn't feel the characters the way I needed to write the story.

So I decided to try something different. Instead of trying to write a story, or make progress on one of my older ones, I decided to just let my muse take the wheel. For ten minutes a day I would write whatever I was feeling like writing at that moment. Didn't matter what story it was. Didn't matter if I had the whole storyline, or just this one little piece. I let the muse take over, and put my faith in her hands. Eventually I knew I'd either find a story that clicks or I'd run out of ideas.

I started a few stories. I wrote several pages on a historical I really like but I have no idea where its going, but I've really gotten cooking on a old idea I had about six years ago but just never got around to starting. I've finally been able to reconnect with my characters, because I let go and stopped pressuring myself. Sometimes, to get where we want to go, you have to let go of some of the control and let the muse take you there.

Its one of those lessons that I constantly need to relearn, and this was just my turn at a refresher course. And I'm passing it on this time, for any others that might need a crash course of their own. Relax, let go, the world will always be there for you when you're ready for it. And remember you're in good company.


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Willa. We've all been there, but we've all pulled out as you did. Wonderful advice.

jean hart stewart said...

Yes, we've all been there... Great column, Willa....