Kiss your muse hello

“There’s no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges,” – Ernest Hemingway

 

To many writers, Ernst Hemingway is an idol, the ‘ultimate writer’.  He is undoubtedly a legend. The legend once said, an unhappy childhood was the best early training for a writer. Malicious gossip has it that Hemingway wrote his best work while unhappy and drunk.

 

Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front, was said to be notoriously depressive, and drew on his creativity from the deepest abyss of his sadness.

 

There are so many amazing authors, and each one of them is driven by a different motivation. But what if motivation is resting and creativity hiding? How can the sleeping muse be awoken?

 

Numerous ways to find motivation:

 

  • coffee or tea
  • rain storms
  • music
  • read a good book
  • conversations
  • listen to stories
  • a nice dinner
  • wonderful dreams
  • the desire to create a world/story/fairy tale
  • long walks
  • peace and silence
  • spending time outside (on the beach or in the woods)
  • calm backyard in the shade

 

This is only a small number of possibilities. After all, there are so many more – too many to count.

 

But what if an author can’t find it? What if the muse is on vacation, creativity asleep and motivation in a coma? What if writer’s block has kicked in?

 

The American Author, Joyce Carol Cates, said: “I don’t think that writer’s block exists really. I think that, when you’re trying to do something prematurely, it just won’t come. Certain subjects just need time… You’re got to wait before you write about them.”

 

Erica Jong states: “All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged.” And Norma Mailer informs: “Writer’s block is only a failure of the ego.”

 

These are famous authors who tell you what might cause it, but how do we end it? Hilary Mantel advises: “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, bot to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise, whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”

 

But who is right? The ones telling us that writer’s block doesn’t exist, or those who believe it can be overcome? Does it matter? What authors want, is to write – having or not having writer’s block or ‘just being stuck’ is not a question that needs to be asked.

 

So how can we kiss the muse awake again?

 

Many famous writers have discussed the benefits of working and writing in piece and silence. Their advice is to get your own room and be able, and willing, to close the door.

 

Some writers work with background music, others write around their cats or with their dog, sleeping on their feet. I figure there are as many writing preferences as writers exist.

 

I personally love to write in the backyard, by the pool. I don’t mind hearing street workers, tree saws, or sirens in the distance. Dogs barking or a kid screaming or laughing is fine with me. When I’m in my story, I am too focused to really hear these sounds.

 

When I worked on a romantic short story a while back, I tried to write within a romantic and unusual environment, and found a spot near a waterfall. I love waterfalls – normally. That day I was delighted – for about 25 minutes. After that, I was bothered by the sound. The permanent flow of water made me nervous and fidgety, and I had to repeatedly interrupt the flow of the story to go to the bathroom. No need to say I didn’t write anything useful that day.

 

If you find the perfect place and surroundings in which to write, I personally recommend that you stay with it. Decorate away – create a space you can feel comfortable. Nobody else will be there. Make it yours. Wake your motivation by doing something that builds the perfect situation to make your inspiration flow.

 

If this means the room needs to look like an Arabian Harem or an Abbey cell, so be it. Rumors are that Barbara Cartland spoke her books on Dictaphone, within the silk and tulle of her Barbie pink bedroom.

 

I have to admit, writing romance within a romantic surrounding is one thing, but building a room that rots my teeth (sickly sweet) would be taking it a little too far. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t suit another writer. As the saying goes, ‘To each his own’.

 

To end this article, I’d like to quote one more famous and excellent writer:

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” – Stephen King

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14 thoughts on “Kiss your muse hello

  1. When I’m in my story, I am too focused to really hear these sounds. (Aurora Jean Alexander)

    What a great sentence, actually the complete blog is terrific.

    When I write, I always have the television on. I don’t know why, however, I must. I have tried the romantic spot thing as well, but finding a romantic spot that is safe to be alone, is hard to find these days. I have tried the library and I have to admit it is wonderful until someone comes in with a group of children for a field trip. :). I also have the waterfall problem and it doesn’t take long before I have to run to the nearest, well, you know. Music doesn’t work for me as it drags me into the song and I want to be there. I don’t hear the t.v. as, like you said, I don’t hear anything but the words running around inside my head.

    If I feel I have run into writers block, which I have only experience a couple of short instances, I walk away and do something else for a few days. I suppose it’s liken to a long term spouse, sometimes ya just gotta get away. 🙂

    Great post, Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aaaawwww. You quoted me! This is a firstie! I’m very proud. Thanks so much, dearest friend!

      I know very well what you mean with the TV. Unfortunately I can’t concentrate when the TV is on, but then: people work differently and I think that’s part of what our personalities, our stories, our natures finally do with us: they create a story.

      And as you said: writer’s block or “getting stuck”… sometimes walking away is the best thing to do.
      I’m happy to hear you like the post. Thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely post, Aurora.

    One of the places I write best is at the bookstore. It is one of my favorite places to be. I also love to sit by the pond or lake. Writing in nature is calming.

    When it comes to music playing in the background, I turn the television channel to “Soundscapes.” That is my favorite music channel offered by “Xfinity.” Mostly, it is instrumental. Every once in a while, there is singing. Not like “Backstreet Boys” singing “Everybody, Backstreet’s Back” or anything. That would just be too distracting. However, when I went to college, I used to listen to “The Corrs.” I only had their first album – the title escapes me at the moment. As crazy as it sounds, I was actually able to study!

    The way I deal with writer’s block is this: I just look around my apartment and let my eyes fall on a random object. Let’s say, for example, on our vase that houses the gemstones my husband and I have collected over the years. I love gemstones. I just write down a description of the vase and the gemstones. The color, texture, and so forth. It is helps to jump-start my writing again.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts. I love your blog.

    Like

  3. I truly enjoy reading you posts;and this one really struck home.Currently ,I am experiencing writer’s block(yes,I believe it exists).It’s not like I don’t have words or ideas ;I have them in thousands but for some reason the words just won’t come out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for dropping by, leaving your comment and of course your opinion about ‘writer’s block’. I hope you’re going to be better soon – and the words will flow from your head onto the paper. Good Luck!

      Like

  4. Pingback: Trying To Write In Another Genre | Writer's Treasure Chest

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