Saturday, March 6, 2010

Finding my Muse Again

I've spent months trying to focus on myself and my health - but feeling horribly guilty that I haven't had energy or time for writing - or even much editing. I'll be honest and say that for a while now, I've been worried that I've forgotten HOW to write. I had no energy and no time and, worst of all, no inspiration.

I think, in retrospect, I really burned myself out. I was working at a toxic Evil Day Job, editing, trying to write, trying to manage a household, dealing with a layoff, dealing with various health issues and even dealing with a son on deployment. It was easier and easier to just not worry about writing. I wasn't even really writing much on my blogs.

The last several months, I've not known how to start writing again. I have a bunch of projects, tentative interest on several, but I couldn't write anything that seemed worthwhile.

I thought maybe I was permanently burnt out.

But this week has been full of some interesting revelations. I ended up breaking my routine by getting sick with a horrid cold and staying home for 3 days straight. This is something I hardly ever do but I think its very strangeness did something to my subconscious.

The first day I only really slept. The second day, though, I was bored and wandering around the house in between naps when I had one of my long-missing "what ifs" struck me. An idea. A story idea! A drop of water in the parched desert.

I think the floodgates have opened. Now I feel again like I can't stand NOT writing. Ideas are coming fast and strong and I've had to start notecards for them because I can't work on them all right now.

The next step is to start some sort of writing routine. Even if it's just an hour a day. I started by rereading and editing the first part of "Forsake Not" and I think I know what needs to come next. Tomorrow I'll be home and WILL work on some writing for at least an hour before going back to the editing I need to get done.

Has anyone else had this sort of dry spell and recovered? What did you do?


K.A. Mitchell said...

I'm so glad to hear the floodgates have opened. It's good to have you back. It's horrible feeling that way. I often think that having stories in my head keeps me sane. When the voices stop, that's when I worry. My only solution to bad spells like that is after I've allowed a little time to be less exhausted and to refill the creative well by reading or watching fiction, I force myself to start putting words on paper, any story, anything until it comes back, because it's so much worse without it.

Chris said...

I'm not a writer, so I haven't experienced this with writing, but I have experienced it with reading or knitting. It's wonderful when you find the trigger that gets you going again!

Happy writing!

Violet Summers said...

I had a similar dry spell after some pretty harsh criticism of something I'd written. It took weeks for me to even force myself to open up Word again! What finally sparked me was a book I was reading... something in the tone resonated so strongly with a project I was SUPPOSED to be working on, that I had to start tinkering with it. It still took a while for me to feel like I was producing anything that wasn't crap, but it did get better over time...

Maura Anderson said...

Thanks for the feedback and advice!

KA - I think you're right. Now I need to make myself write something each day, even if it's not a good something.

Chris - thanks for the support! I'm glad something sparked again, too.

Violet - sorry you had a dry spell too. Glad you got over it, though, because I love your stories!

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