life, writing

Imprisoned Muse

I always hesitate to mention that I’m writing again, because I’m afraid I might lose my muse.

(In barren lands without my muse.)

My muse was imprisoned for quite a while. When this happens, I try to figure out what causes me to get stuck. I think there are a couple of reasons, but today I’m going to focus on one.  It’s difficult for me to climb into my character’s head when they have to do something out of my comfort zone. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not good at faking who I am. I know that’s part of being a writer, so it takes me longer than most people to get my work done. It’s a way for me to grow . . . putting myself in these people’s shoes and making different decisions than I would make.

When I wrote Whit’s End, I had one of my characters make many (not all) decisions based on what I might do. The other character had an extra-marital affair, and I found it really difficult to climb into her head to figure out her thought process. On my first go-around with that character, my critique group said that she wasn’t well-rounded enough. After I went back to cut and tweak and edit her story, she started coming together.

I admire authors who can get so clearly into the heads of their antagonist or a character that is very different from themselves. Maybe some day it’ll come easier for me, but somehow, I think it’ll always take me a long time to write because of this issue. I write much slower than all my blogger-author friends. There is another issue that trips me up as well, but I’ll save that for another post.

Some time ago, I took notes for blog posts with deep subjects and wanted to post them. Now that I’m working on my WIP again, finally, I’ve put those unwritten posts on hold. I may be in and out of the blogasphere, too.

How about you? Whether you’re blogger or author of novels, does your muse get imprisoned? Go on vacation? If so, how do you set that muse free? Or, how do you get your muse to leave vacation and get back to work?




15 thoughts on “Imprisoned Muse”

  1. Lori, I hope your muse comes back!😀❤️ Write with your voice and don’t worry about what others are doing. Also just step back and write something totally different for a while, go a bit mad. Do it just for yourself and not to be read by others and you might find that liberating and surprise yourself! Best of luck, warmest wishes xxx

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  2. Lori, I’m glad to know you’re back to writing. I’ve had a season, recently, where I could barely write any fiction. But I was determined to at least write a blog post each week, even when I couldn’t seem to write a novel.

    Ideas for books come to me, so I write them down and even list scenes that could happen in the book, even if I’m not emotionally ready to tackle the book.

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    1. Hi L. The strange thing is, I almost always have motivation to write blog posts. Wish that would happen with my fiction writing. Good idea to write down your ideas. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Have a great weekend. Looks like we’re in for one more bout of snow and then nice weather. Let’s hope that good weather sticks around.


  3. I imagine the fact you find it difficult to step out of yourself when creating your characters brings more authenticity to your writing, so that’s a benefit of it, no doubt. I thought you captured the emotions of your characters in Whit’s End so well, and your connection to at least one of the characters likely contributed to that. But I could see where it might slow down the writing pace too, so the fact you recognize it is probably a great first step.

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    1. Hi Carrie. Yeah, I mentioned on fb that my character was about to take an acid trip. I was afraid to dive into that state of mind, but I finally got it done. I admire how well you stepped into your characters in Eating Bull, especially that antagonist.
      Thank you for the supportive comment.


    1. Hee hee. Me, not think too much. Laughing at myself for my analyzing nature. Usually, if I can figure out the deeper meaning for something, even if I can’t fix it, it helps me to accept it. You’re right though, everyone has their own pace and method. Still trying to figure mine out. 😉 Thanks, Jill.

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  4. It can be so hard to get back into it once the muse has left. I’ve had this happen twice, and each time, I forced myself to start writing a scene even though I had no real idea where I was heading with it, and it lacked luster. But the main thing was that I had written a few words and once I read them over and started tweaking them, my writing picked up momentum and soon I was back into it. That’s what worked for me. I’m sure there are many other ways to “get back in the saddle.”

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    1. What you described is exactly what I’ve been doing, Anneli. Thank you for sharing this. Helps me to see I’m not alone, and neither at you. 🙂

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