The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

Write Well When the Muse Is Sleeping

photo courtesy of ardelfin on morguefile.com
sleeping lion.jpg Not in the mood to write? No inspiration from the muse? Don't just give up, write anyway!

I love this quote from Peter De Vries, " I write when I'm inspired. I see to it I am inspired at 9 o'clock every morning." And look at this comment, "In order to have a real relationship with our creativity, we must take the time and care to cultivate it." -Julia Cameron. That all means showing up! Or as Jane Yolen says, "BIC: butt in chair."

That's also the reasoning behind NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). When a friend of mine completed this for the first time, she was so encouraged by reaching 25,000 words, then 50,000 words. She talked about writing "through." Write through the rough spots; write knowing you are writing badly; keep going. She learned so much about her characters and how she wanted her story to play out. She also learned about herself.

Recently, another writing friend and I were discussing how writing creates writing. The more you sit (or stand) and write, the more motivated we get to write. We get excited as we see what our characters are doing. We get inspired by the completion of a scene, a well said paragraph, word count going up, etc.

For me, sometimes I make myself "get in the mood," by rereading what I've written in the WIP novel. That might be the last three chapters or just a scene, but it helps me get into the flow again and remember what is at stake for my character.

I also find it helpful when I take a chapter to my critique group and they ask, "What happened here?"--referring to the between the scenes I wrote or when I glossed over something with a simple line. They awaken my muse in that moment.

The muse is like sunshine--it's so easy to write then. But we all experience rainy seasons too--times when the muse can't be found. This is where we find out if we are a real writer.

Julie A. Campbell also says, "The beauty hidden inside a tiny seed can never be discovered until it is planted, until the rains fall and the sun shines down upon it. The process takes time and patience..."

So how do YOU move forward if your muse is asleep?