Friday, May 10, 2013

Writer's Inspiration - working with your muse

I've recently been getting quite a few questions about writers block from some of my author friends. If you haven't experienced this wonderful phenomenon, just wait. It'll happen.
For those of you who may not know, I write a Paranormal Romance series (Choice, Changed, Created, Consumed) and a Zombie series (The Beginning, Little Apocalypse on the Prairie), sometimes concurrently. Some people are flabbergasted that I can switch between the two completely different writing styles and topics so easily, sometimes even in one day. My answer: My muse has ADHD.
My muse isn't content in just one genre. She likes to flip flop and flit all over the place. Once I say I won't write about a subject, she comes up with this brilliant idea and tries to prove me wrong. My challenge: Keeping her focused.
"How do I do this and deal with writer's block?" you ask.
My answer is simple and complicated. I personally work best with deadlines. Most of the time I manage to reach them, other times, life gets in the way and I have to push my deadline back a bit. My muse kinda hates this. If she had her way, we'd start a hundred projects and never finish any of them, but she'd be happy with the results anyway. When I have my deadline settled, I try not to read anything during the writing process. Instead, I watch movies pertaining to the subject matter, doodle outlines, walk, drive listening to the music that fits the particular scene I'm writing, and then I write. I've found I write better when I hand-write things and then type them into the computer. When I stick with the genre I'm trying to write about, flood my mind and my senses with the differing ideas, I find my muse becomes almost over stimulated and focused. Words and ideas fly through my head faster than my fingers can type.
We work hard, for long periods of time, exhausting both her mental reserves and my physical strength. Once we're done with a subject, sometimes she's ready to move on to something else, sometimes she's just done.
My point to this post is to learn and get to know your muse on a personal level. How does it work with you? What are its breaking points? How do you nurture and reward your muse?
I overcome writers block by giving my muse the rest she deserves. During these times, we read for fun, we simply enjoy the music, not look for the inspiration it provides, and we simply enjoy the pleasure of each other's company, in a restful, quiet way.
I know I sound schizophrenic. Believe me, I know. I've had a difficult time trying to find a way to describe my muse as anything other than another entity inside of me, but that's how she feels to me. She's part of me, but not entirely me. She's that little voice inside of me, inspiring me, encouraging me, and allowing me to entertain the childish fantasies that have inspired my writing.
My challenge for you today: Find a way to show your muse you appreciate it. Let it relax, recharge and just simply be content to live inside your psyche. You'll be amazed at how it rewards you.