Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Do You Keep Your Muse Happy & More Sweet Contests

Wow, it seems like contests are all about these days! I have two more to share that are too cool for words! (Did you like how I used two, too and to in the same sentence?) Okay, first Beth Revis is having a wonderful giveaway to celebrate her MAJOR book deal! (Yes, she just sold her debut series, and it's YA sci/fi which is one of my very favorite genres in the whole world!) Anyway, she is giving away two prize packs: one for writers and one for readers. Let me tell you, I would be happy to have either one, but of course I'm chomping at the bit for the writer one:) The contest ends April 3, but I highly suggest you enter now. Cause if you wait and you're like me you just might forget and that would be awful! The second fantabulous contest is from Sara at The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler. She is giving away 12 prizes combined into five packages, so that means there will be five winners! Her contest ends March 22, so enter today!

Now for the post:) We all talk about her (or him if that's your thing). Ya know, the ever-elusive muse. The fickle creature that shows up on a whim and can make your writing session a dream of effortless creativity and singing prose or a tortuous event that makes you want to pull out your hair rather than try to squeeze out one more word. So what is the magic formula? How do you get her to sit by your side and whisper sweet nothings in your ear so you can happily type away? Well, if I knew the answer to that I would be writing 24/7.

I've been guilty of saying "I can't write today because I'm not inspired." Or "The muse isn't with me." Or my personal favorite "I don't know what to write cause I'm stuck." Any way you look at it, it all comes down to the fact that something is holding you back. I think that's why so many of us blame it on the muse. It's easier to blame something else other than put the responsibility on our own shoulders.

So really, what can you do about it? Well, some things that have worked for me are:

*Take a long walk

*Take a long, hot shower (that had my muse positively purring last night!)

*Feed her (mine loves chocolate and Dr Pepper, but you really need to pinpoint what yours is into)

*Read (A lot of bloggy friends suggested this one when was in my slump and it really works)

*Give yourself some time off (take a break for a few days because sometimes putting pressure on the muse is counterproductive)

*Remind yourself that the first draft WILL suck and you can and WILL fix things during revisions (this one is very hard for me to follow)

*Have a brainstorming session with someone you trust (crit partners, spouse, a friend or anyone who could help you with your writing)

So what have you done to keep your muse happy? Is there any one thing that works for you every time? And have you ever tried something that had the opposite effect and made your writing session seem like you were in hades?


  1. The muse likes long, hot showers, long walks, lots of chocolate, and sleep. She gets great ideas when she's sleeping. :)

  2. Long walks, boring tasks like washing up... and my muse has recently become very responsive to Kendal Mint Cake. (Hence the need for exercise...)

  3. Long hot showers following long brisk walks through the woods, those activities keep the thoughts flowing.

  4. What excellent ways to help!!!! Most of those work for me!!!

  5. I like to just take a break. This is so difficult to do but I really write like crazy when I get back to the keyboard.
    On Thursday, there will be something on my blog for you.

  6. A cluttered mind is what I find drives the muse away. A long walk and a hot bath clears it for me.

  7. Sarajayne - Oh, if I could only get a lot of sleep! I'm certain that would make my muse sooooo happy:)

    dirtywhitecandy - That cake sounds wonderful! I should try it:)

    Jon - Ooh, I haven't walked in the woods in a long time! It's been too cold, so I must remedy that as soon as the weather is warmer:)

    Jen - Your muse sounds suspiciously like mine!

    Christine - Ooh, thanks for the award!

    Patti - Yes! Having a cluttered mind is enough to make the muse run away as fast as she can:)

  8. My muse definitely likes her chocolate and Dr. Pepper, though I've been restricting the DP for weight loss issues. I have found that the lack of DP affects my muse at times, but we're working through it. ;) And I know how hard it is to remember that first draft will suck. I'm constantly forgetting. Great post! :)

  9. Great post!

    I don't do anything. I park myself in front of the computer, put on the headphones, and write. The end. Sometimes it sucks. (Okay, most of the time.) But I just do it.

    Yeah, I'm like Nike.

  10. Abby - Oh, your muse may not forgive you if you do away with the Dr Pepper all together. Maybe y'all can work out a compromise:)

    Elana - I wish I could do that! Maybe with a little more practice and a lot of will power I shall follow in your footsteps and be like Nike, too:)

  11. Tag your it!!! Come check out my blog!

  12. Wonderful tips, Melissa! The muse is very fickle and high-maintenance, and it's a real challenge keeping her happy. But when she is, things are smooth sailing from there!

  13. Jen - *rubs hands together* This is gonna be so much fun!

    Julie - You are absolutely right:)