Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sweet Hearts of the Rodeo Week 12

As feature writer of the week, I decided to suspend with the usual critique of my work in progress and focus on something that has been plaguing me for sometime, what do with the collective novels, stories, the general all-round writing that’s gathering dust.

So I went to the group and posed a few questions that have clearly cluttered the brain and muddled those little gray cells into inactive, it was difficult thinking of going forward with something else, when I have so much unfinished.

I want to share with others the advice the group has giving me, mind you, the week isn’t over so not everyone has had a chance to respond, but there are two members that are always Johnny on the spot and hopefully they won’t mind me placing their comments here for others to read.

Learning the craft of writing is a wonderful adventure, a journey well worth taking, but as we venture down this creative road, the mind can become muddled and confused.

Over the years, you’ve posted your masterpieces to the group for feedback, and the group responds with excellent tips and advice. Then you begin revising your work in progress based on the suggestions the group has given.

Now you’ve spent years in a group environment, perfecting the skills and honing the techniques, and then one morning you wake up and realize that you’ve revised the stories so much that you’ve lost the muse. Not the muse for writing, but the novels and stories you have in progress.

One of the questions asked…

What do you do to keep the muse alive?

One member responded with this advice: “Personally I think you have to keep pushing forward, glancing back over your shoulder as necessary, but not getting sucked down into revising the same five or six stories over and over for the rest of your life.”

Another member responded with this advice: “My artistic sensuality can be sparked by doing things, like exercising, driving, or hiking or something as mundane as doing dishes. For me it can also be sparked by visuals found in art forms such as movies, photography, and painting. Doesn't matter whether these are well done or not, they always trip my switch. I feed my muse whenever possible.”

This is good advice on fueling the muse and then I went one-step further and twittered a similar question to noted authors…this is the response they gave.

Brandilyn Collins her blog, said: Forensics & Faith
Read: novels in your genre, newspaper, obits. Watch news. Many ideas there. Write snatches of scenes in your head.

Karen Marcus her webpage, said: Final Draft Communications
IMO, anything that moves you physically or mentally moves creativity--exercise, music, a great conversation.

From this aspiring author’s experience and digesting the advice given from the above, I can see where I could have went wrong possibly, and how the muse was lost in my case, in the beginning it was in the rewriting stage. Essentially, not knowing enough about the craft of writing, ultimately then, this is part of the learning the process.

Advice for myself is to save the feedback a day or so then revise but not to the extent that the muse is lost.

I do hope others that is reading this will share their experience and how you deal with the muse and what you have done to recapture the muse for pieces you have written in the past.

Happy Writing!


  1. When I loose track of the inspiration for a story, I usually put it away for a few days and think about a different story (I have like 3 going right now). And then I try to think about what I originally wanted from the story or thought about it, and that usually gets me back on track.

  2. Thanks Blinky for your comments. Some of the stories I'm looking back over have sat idle for years, and I do hope the inspiration comes again, as it has for you.



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