Thursday, January 14, 2016

Every Writer Needs a Muse

So here I am, 2 weeks into the new year and I am just fleshing out the plot for my new novel.  I should have written at least 30 pages of a first draft by now, but as usual I got distracted and sidetracked by art and poetry. 

It's time now to focus on writing this novel. While I have only a few sketchy ideas so far I must sit down with my spiral, one-subject, wide ruled notebook and just begin. I've written 3 novels that way so why try to change my process now. I will continue to fill in the plot points as I go but I won't wait till that's done to write a first draft. After all, writers write.

But all writers need a muse as well. Sometimes more than one. My visual muse looks like this



I created this myself on one of my many excursions back to art and even made a muse for each of the women in my writer's group.



But muses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are ephemeral and only exist in ghost like form as they perch on our shoulders, hopefully whispering helpful affirmations or story suggestions in our ears. Like these, some are concrete and visual. But muses can also take on a more practical side, becoming truly helpful routines, behaviors and tools. Here are some of my favorites.

  1. cleaning up my writing space and hiding art supplies from view--at least to the extent I can since I have so many stored in such a small room
  2. putting away art and poetry books and setting out my novel writing books in plain sight
  3. reading those technique books to keep novel writing in my mind
  4. reading the kinds of novels I write meaning women's fiction, romance, or romantic women's fiction
  5. keeping in touch with my writing group in between meetings
  6. sitting at my desk every morning (before the sun rises) and journaling about my writing goals and keeping my focus on novel writing
All these little helpers gently push me in the direction I need to do. If you're writing a novel you might want to try out a few.