#8 on our list of the best/worst things about being an aspiring author: Feeling the muse vs. can't think of anything to write subtitled: I'm only posting this on a Sunday so we stay somewhat on track - has anyone else noticed we aren't going to get to #1 on Christmas? math majors we were not.

The muse. You know what I mean. That elusive creature that decides to haunt you in the car, the shower/bathtub, the jogging route, the line at the grocery store - wherever she darn well pleases. We love these moments, don't we? When we know what we're about to write. How it will end. How to get it there. Oh, muse, how I love thee.
Other times, not so much. Like this weekend. I set aside a few hours to write and, um, I've got nothing. It doesn't help that I don't have my Christmas tree up yet, we had a 3-hour program practice for Sunday School this morning, the church program is tomorrow (today, for you all) and the Sunday School teachers (including me) are hosting coffee hour afterwards - which reminds me I need to bake tonight.

The laundry, the dishes, and the dust bunnies are starting to stare at me with funny looks in their eyes. My Facebook friends are luring me into their lives with their funny status updates. Other bloggers are posting really interesting things for me to read. My pile of library books is almost due and I'd hate to take them back without cracking their dear little spines. I haven't emailed christy for over an hour and she might be worried about me. One son wants to play Scrabble and the other one wants to play Candyland.

My muse is scared of all of these things and has gone into hiding.
come out, come out, wherever you are!

I know you guys are busy, too. Any tips for getting my polar bear muse to come back to me when I actually have a few minutes to spare??


  1. Don't worry Erica, your muse will return. When the insanity of the holidays winds down, she will return to you like an old friend.

    Everyday stress in our lives frightens our sensitive muse. They are happy, creative, and delicate spirits.

    Go with the flow and don't think about it. She'll sneak up on you when you least expect it.


  2. I love finding pictures of people that make me think of my characters or just inspiring pictures that have something to do with the chapter I'm working on. I also love to use music that somehow fits my main character. Good luck!

  3. erica, i DO so worry when i don't hear from you. although last night i totally abandoned you to shop, wrap and watch White Christmas (the first half anyway). Today I realized something. Since I now have a very specific goal: at least 4 rewritten chapters per week (or no entering ABNA for me) I need to suck up my "ideal writing atmosphere". Because it just isn't going to happen. Muse or no. Silence or no. I've just got to start plunking my little red fingernails (yes! i took time to paint them for the hoidays!) on the keyboard of this magical laptop. (It'd better be magical. Otherwise there's no hope to my goals coming to fruition.) (yes, read michael's comment!) Anyways. I explained this very dire situation to my husband and said he would help me find ONE HOUR of uninterrupted writing time per day so I could be done with this thing in Jan. He nodded. Today, at 8:21 AM, I announced that my hour was starting. The following hour consisted of me writing half of chapter 4. And a "MOMMY!! I poopy!" and "MOMMY! Sit here. Race cars." and "MOMMY! I need water. NO, milk!" and "MOMMY! I think a snack would be really ideal at this moment while I watch the movie you are about to put in the DVD player which you will first run downstairs to get." And me rolling my eyes and getting a refill for my coffee cup. And a (few) white chocolate covered pretzel(s).

    Again, I realize I am in the comments section, not the post. Really, I realize it.

    AMAZING POST, erica!

    Michael and Heather, thanks for stopping by during this insanely busy time! I LOVE your muse pics, Heather! I recently procrastinated by looking for some of my own! And music is definitely HUGE for my writing! Michael, you are always a supreme cheerleader! Your comments keep us going! christy

  4. My suggestion was going to be to hide with your muse, but that won't get your children looked after OR your wip worked on, so never mind that one. It's the Busyness Gremlin-- he comes round to my house from time to time, too, and scares the Muse away. Pack his bag so he knows his time with you is limited. ;)

  5. One thing: It will show up when it's good and read. You can't force a good thing, so don't try to!

  6. Get that Christmas tree up ;) No, just kidding. Life does interfere, doesn't it?

    Here are my top 3 tips--

    Tell yourself you're going to sit in the chair for 15 mins/half hour/3 hours--whatever you've got. If your unconscious knows you're gonna be there anyway, it just might hand you something.

    Re-type your last paragraph. If you don't get going from there, edit your last paragraph.

    Ask yourself what's the worst thing that could happen to your characters right now, then begin writing about it.

    Glad I found your blog!

  7. I know what you mean! Having a job, a house, being a mom etc only leaves a small window of opportunity to write, so when we do, it'd better be good! But that happened to me a lot too when I was writing- I'd just stare at my screen and get madder and madder that I was wasting my precious writing time. My muse has struck me in odd places though (usually at work) so I have to quickly jot down notes. And then when I got home, I'd pop a movie in for Little Monster and get to writing that section real quick. (of course there are always interruptions- she can't just sit quietly for a half hour and watch a movie! I pray that she falls asleep sometimes...erm, I mean, I didn't say that.. ) Sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do ;p Have fun with all your holiday prep!

  8. Michael and Christy - thanks for all your support and help. My year would not have been the same without the two of you.

    Heather - a couple weeks ago, I saw the movie Mean Girls (I know, I'm 5 years behind) and the guy on that movie TOTALLY made me think he was my mc. . .I need to print out a picture of that guy!! (um, for research, yeah)

    Su - Any chance I can catch that Gremlin and make him wrap presents tomorrow?

    Mary - yeah, she's kind-of like my 4-year-old in that way. :)

    Jenny - hello again, glad to see you (it's that time of year again, isn't it!)!! "What's the worst that can happen" is great advice for my WIP right now, thanks!

    Abby - when I had an "only" I prayed for naptime on somedays (then again, I didn't write back then), so you're not alone. But now my presents are bought and my tree is up (not decorated, but upright in my living room).

    Yay for Christmas break next week!!


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