Saturday, April 27, 2013

10 Things to Do When Your Muse Takes a Vacation

Writer's Block. Many will argue it doesn't exist. Others say it does. There are some days when your muse decides to go on vacation. {Tweet This}

So what does a writer do when the blank screen glares back at them?

Here are 10 suggestions:

1. Edit. Or rewrite. Pull up material you've already written and take it to the next level.

2. Research. Google. Go to the library. Take a day trip. Find out that information you need to know for your story to be true-to-life. Maybe the answer will give your muse the nudge it needs.

3. Take a break. Sometimes our mind just needs rest. I know that after a few weeks of non-stop writing and editing, my brain shuts down. I need a day off. You too? Take one.

4. Go someplace else to write. I stare at the same wall all week. There are plenty other places I could go to write: The park. The library. Outside. (My favorite:) The coffee house. Why am I still here staring at this wall?

5. Do another type of research. Market research. Head to the book store or amazon and search for titles similar to yours. Find out who your competition is. Find out how they are promoting their books. Find out what readers want. Read reviews of other books similar to yours and learn what not to do, what turns your readers off. This will help with your proposal, your marketing campaign, and your writing.

6. READ. Read books similar to yours. Read books about writing. Read for fun. Writers should always read.

7. Do something creative...but don't write. I love puzzles (especially 1,000 piece puzzles). I love to take pictures. I love to design graphics for my blog posts. I love to make jewelry. What do you love to do besides writing? Do that for a day or an afternoon.

8. Make a story board. Pinterest is great for this. Find pictures of your characters, the setting of your story, the foods your characters like to eat, the cars they drive. Put them all into one place. Then, when you're ready to go back and write again, you have a visual aid/stimulant.

9. Do a third type of research. Go someplace people are: The mall. The airport. The gym. Your kid's school. Pay attention to other people's body language. Eavesdrop on a conversation or two. Learn how people talk to one another so you can write great realistic dialogue.

10.Exercise. After all, we sit with our butts in our chairs most days. If your body's anything like mine, it's screaming for activity. Or it's sending signals that if you eat one more snickerdoodle or drink one more latte you're not going to love your waistline. {Check out this abs workout.} Take a walk. Take a hike. Go fishing. Visit the gym. Get active.


11. Or, you can do what writers will tell you to do. WRITE. Make your word count. Write for your dedicated daily amount of time. Even if it's sh**ty writing, at least you have something to work on when your muse returns from its vacation.

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