I am going to start this post with a confession. I do not write everyday.
*Cue the dropped jaws now*
My mind works in a certain way. It is the most stubborn entity I possess. There are days where I have an endless amount of muse and writing comes easily. There are days where a song, television show, or line in a book triggers a story. Then there are the wasteland days. These are the worst. My muse is dried up, my pen is parched, and I am left pulling my hair out as I wait for something to unlock inside of my head. This lack of muse wouldn’t be terrible if it lasted a few hours or a few days. This can last for weeks, even months.
Under this condition, I hate everything I try to write or everything I write leads nowhere. I’ve heard a lot of opinions on this. There seems to be a line between writers who advocate for writing everyday no matter if the story is falling apart, getting run over by a truck, and then mashed in a garbage truck. There are others who advocate for the space in between writing, to let the thoughts flow when they are most wanted. There are pros of each side. The former allows for consistent progress and the development of a habit. The latter gives the muse and writer time to recover. There are also cons: trying to fight through a muse-less session versus not being able to maintain muse if there is too much time in between writing sessions.
Every writer has a method to reach their goals. I’m a night time writer. There is something about the silent darkness that can set the mood for a chapter or story to be completed. I am also a phone writer. I’ve written entire chapters during my commute. Sometimes I have more muse doing this than sitting before my computer.
My habits weren’t always like this. As a teenager, I wrote every second I got. My parents never understood why I was on the computer for an obscene amount of hours per day. They didn’t always believe me when I told them I was writing despite having a myriad of documents to prove it. With age, it has gotten harder to keep up the intensity I had when I was younger. I still love to write. There is a fervor that burns within me, that flows through my veins. I think my battle with muse comes from finding a life-write balance.
“Just write” as I’ve been told is easier said than done. For non-writers, it is even harder for them to understand the complexity of words and the frustration of getting a scene exactly as it is mentally pictured. If it were as simple and writing, completing a book would be a one shot deal. We wouldn’t have industries, publicists, and editors who dedicate their lives to making a book as polished as it can be.
If I find a cure to my ‘wasteland syndrome’ I will be sure to post it on the blog in bold letters, maybe throw in a cheer or two. If any of you fellow bloggers/writers/readers have found a cure, please let me know so I can be done with this horrible condition. Also, be sure to tell me what your writing habits are.