After my Muse demanding attention 24/7 for a couple of weeks, she disappeared. Poof! Gone. Right in the middle of a chapter – I was not best pleased. And it got me thinking. There are probably as many methods for dealing with this, as there are for writing fiction – everyone has their own theory and pet solution. Here are some of my favourites:
This one is easy. Make some fresh coffee, flick back through old emails, scan the online newspapers, go hunt out that recipe – you know, that one – that you have somewhere on a yellowing fragment of paper, stuffed on a bookshelf somewhere. Maybe.
This approach actually feels slightly useful. Move onto another project (of the writing variety, of course). Either do some editing of another WIP, some critting for a friend and fellow writer, or pick up the bare bones of a future project. Even writing a diary / blog entry can help. The act of writing words on paper (or screen) is a great tool for getting the flow back.
Ah, now this one is useful. Look back at your notes, remember that thing you were going to look up when you only had five minutes… and go find it.
This works best for me. After staring out of the window and dipping my toe in each of the above methods, I always come back to this one. I Just Write. I pick up the next segment and start writing whatever comes to mind, no matter how fanciful it may be – it can always be edited, or even deleted. But somehow, it triggers the creative process like nothing else for me.
HURRAH – it worked. I suddenly realised the mistake I’d made in the previous segment – the little loophole I’d left undone – and I went back and fixed it. And my Muse reappeared, smiling and laughing at me for wasting a morning when I could have been writing. Okay, she says, you figured it out. So let’s go again.