As a writer, there are fantastic benefits to working from home. I can stay in my pajamas all day, eat when I want, take as many breaks for as long as I want and how I want. I get to create worlds, people and fantastic alien species. I can say without prejudice (ok maybe with a little) that this is the best job I’ve ever had. I love what I do. This is absolutely my calling.
You would think that every single day would be filled with brilliant prose and fun writing. Well, as any real writer will tell you, there are days when the Muse goes on vacation and doesn’t take her cell phone with her. These days are not the writer’s block days that all writers fear. These are just the days when we can’t get the Muse to speak immediately. We don’t have any brilliant ideas and the character’s dialogue falls flatter than a ten-day-old open soda. The ideas are there; however, the Muse isn’t present to help put the creative flair in place.
So what should we do on those days? Should we only write when we feel like it? Well, if we wrote only when the Muse was in town, we’d never finish our manuscripts much less get them published.
No, on days when we would purposely do fourteen loads of laundry and watch paint dry rather than sit and try to force creativity to flow, we have to persevere. Yes, there’s a 90% chance that what we write will be abysmal and make us want to pull our hair out, but at least we’ll be writing. The Muse is only in existence to inspire us–she doesn’t create the talent.
Yesterday was one such day that my Muse decided to take a day trip to, well, I don’t know where. But I did something that is integral to all writers for the path of success. I pushed through. I sat down with a flash fiction piece and began turning it into a short story that I hope to submit for publication later this year. I was only able to do about 1,000 words, however, they were 1,000 words that wouldn’t have gotten out of me had I just sat and watched t.v. all day.
A few suggestions for pushing through would be:
- Writing prompts — Writer’s Digest is a great place for daily writing prompts. They come up with some of the most creative prompts I’ve ever seen. And the results that are posted are pretty good. I usually don’t post mine online, but I do keep them just in case I develop a pretty descent idea that I can transfer to my idea file for later.
- If you’re working on a novel, read the previous three chapters to get back into the groove. Usually this will trigger ideas that will get the creative juices flowing.
- Try journaling about what you would do if you were your character. Our characters are a mix of us, other people and other characters.
- If you’re looking for blogging ideas, try blogging about what you’ve learned from books on the writing craft, books on your specific genre, your characters, or locations that are featured in your book.
These are just a few things that I utilize when my Muse decides to pull a Houdini. What are some of the tricks you implement to get the writing fire started? Feel free to share them. We’re all in this together.