Luring Lady Muse
Book one, Deliver Me from Darkness, has been out for months, Deliver Me from Temptation came out yesterday… book three? About to be passed to the hands of the editor, YIKES! Next? Well it’s time to sit down and start making music with my keyboard. Only, darn it, Lady Muse has gone on vacation! Please come back, Lady Muse! I need inspiration.
This is the desperate plea of authors (and creative peeps) everywhere. When those creative juices clog up and lady muse has gone on a walkabout what is a writer to do? It’s a battle we face a lot more than our fans probably realize and one that takes its own creative attack to fend off. Here are some tried and true strategies used by yours truly along with some of my other awesome author friends. Enjoy! :-)
1.) Take a shower! This one is my go-to method, thought I know the dear Vicky Dreiling, who rights fun, witty historical romances says it’s a cure-all for her too. Maybe it’s that cleansing action of removing all the crude you have built up on you that somehow manages to do a scrubby on your brain too. Whatever the case, it works!
2.) Give a call to Mr. Sandman… Vicky is also a proponent of anything that lets your subconscious takes over. When she’s deep into a story, she will often wake up in the middle of the night having dreamed about the characters. She’s also awakened in the morning with full blown scenes in her head. She says, “I have no explanation, other than the infamous muse - or what I call my magic romance fairies.”
3.) Leave the chains behind…and take a walk. Nothing like some fresh air, right? Not only has the exercise been linked to spiking brain function, it just feels good to get out there and leave your problems from the desk behind. It’s somewhere around the two mile mark that my clogged gears do there little shift and settle and a few minutes later I’m all but running to get back to my desk.
4.) Pump up the volume! While writing her sexy paranormal romances, Sara Humphreys says there is nothing like a bit of music to lure back the muse and I have to agree. I have my own collection based on what sort of scene I’m trying to write from pure despair, to happily optimistic, to that action-packed beat. Right on, Sara! (or is that write on ;-)
5.) Grab some popcorn and a DVD! Sara isn’t the only one who loves music to work to. KC Klein also finds it to be good therapy when her cowboys (both space and here on the Texas ranch) aren’t cooperating. Even better though is grabbing some popcorn, a notepad, and settling on the couch for some screen time. She says, “I will load up on drama filled movies on Netflicks and have myself a lazy day.” The visual stimulation and the down time helps her get past the writing block and soon enough she’s scribbling on her notepad with ideas!
6.) Don’t put down that pen! Just switch gears. When Elisabeth Staab needs a break from her gritty paranormal romance world, she likes to set a fifteen minute timer and do a writing exercise that she pulls off of http://diymfa.com/writer-igniter. The process of setting her mind to a task that is not her current WIP, but is still engaging her writing brain helps. (I’m going to have to try this one!)
7.) Visit an old friend. My own dear friend and fellow paranormal author Erin Kellison says that when she’s hit the proverbial writers’ wall, she reads old favorites to get her creative juices flowing. Reading also reminds her that books are friends--longtime friends--and that helps her approach my own with a positive outlook.
8.) Write for love, not the deadline. Samantha Grace, who writes sweet regency romances, says she recently wrote an extended epilogue to give away as a free read to fans. Not only was it a nice diversion to her deadlines but it was liberating to write something that wasn't going to her editor. The process reminded her of how much joy she had in the beginning writing stories, and it freed her muse to have fun. Now she’s having a blast writing her newest book.
9.) Write for yourself, not the audience! Megan Mulry who writes sexy, playful women’s fiction also believes in writing for fun. She says that lately her muse has been totally fired up by writing scenes for friends rather than her fan base. She really wanted her current hetero hero to kiss a guy in front of the heroine, just to mess with her (she is totally messed up about her sexual identity). She says, “I doubt it will even go into the manuscript, but Mira Lyn Kelly said "Ooh! Write that! I want to read it!" So I did. And I wrote 2k in an hour and I *love* the scene. Sometimes pretending no one will ever read it really frees me up.”
10.) Don’t waste your money on bait for luring lady muse…you can make your own! Historical romance author Shana Galan would say that 95% of the time she doesn't believe she has a muse as she pens her adventures regencies. For her, it's all about just putting in the time. But then there are those unexplained flashes of insight and those days when every word flows like water. On those days, she has no explanation except the muse, but she believe what inspires her is all the work she’s put in up to that point…even if that work is just mulling things over as she folds laundry!
11.) Stop thinking! Or at least stop twisting your grey matter in a bunch ;-) Sexy paranormal author Cheryl Brooks says she just keeps writing anything that pops into her head--sort of letting her subconscious become conscious. Brainstorming with friends also helps, but leaving her brain alone so it can come up with the ideas on its own works best.
12.) How about a little mix and mash? Terry Spears likes to brainstorm a lot while writing about her wolves and shifters, but sometimes she just has to take a break, write on another book, reread the book she’s having trouble with, or do some research. Sometimes that gives her a whole new great direction to go in that she would never have considered before!
13.) When all else fails, take some advice from romantic suspense author Julie Ann Walker and drink some COFFEE! …then go scan for pictures of half-naked men. Oh, la la! :-) On a more serious note, Julie says she gets a lot of inspiration from volunteering at the USO and bearing witness to the courage, valor, and sacrifice of men and women in uniform. When she sees all they give in the service of our country, it makes writing stories about them almost a NEED as opposed to a want. She says, “I MUST tell their tales!”
I hope you enjoyed these thirteen little tidbits of advice. Has there ever been a time when your creative muse abandoned you? If so, please tell us how you got out of your funk and if not, feel free to ask any question that comes to mind about me or my writing process. One lucky commenter will win a copy of my newly released second novel in the Paladin Warrior series, Deliver Me from Temptation!
About the Paladin Warriors
Deliver Me from Temptation
Paladin Warriors 2
Sourcebooks Casablanca, December 4, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Logan Screwed Up…Big Time
When things go bump in the night, Logan bumps back. Vampires, demons, succubi—you name it, he’s fought it. His job as a Paladin angel warrior is to protect humans. Not fall for one.
She Never Believed in Divine Intervention…Until Now
Detective Jessica Waters protects humans too—with her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. She doesn’t believe in fate. But if anyone looks like a gift from the gods, it’s Logan. And he clearly knows more about her case than he’s letting on…
Deliver Me from DarknessPaladin Warriors 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca, February 7, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
A stranger in the night…
He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.
Comes knocking on the door…
She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.
www.teshilaire.com, like her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/TesHilaireAuthor, and follow her on Twitter, @TesHilaire. Look for the other books in the Paladin Warriors Series: Deliver Me from Darkness (in stores now) and Prince of Shadows (November 2013).
What: One commenter will win a copy of Deliver Me From Temptation (Paladin Warriors 2) from Tes.
How: Answer Tes' question:
Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.Has there ever been a time when your creative muse abandoned you? If so, please tell us how you got out of your funk and if not, feel free to ask any question that comes to mind about me or my writing process.
You may receive additional entries by:
1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.
2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.
There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*