Writers are not usually a spiritual bunch. But if there is one thing we all worship, it’s our muse. We court it, placate it, promise it whatever it wants, and we live to serve it. Now, if only it would return the favor by showing up on demand!
My muse seems to have left me in the lurch. I am dry, feeling completely uncreative (is that a word?). I’ll get an idea, start a topic, and watch it fizzle in the embers of my mental disarray. What’s a writer to do? Not much? More? Everything!
My first solution for desertion of the muse (a/k/a writer’s block) is to remember what a romance writer once said on a magazine television show. The story chronicled everyday people who wrote and published romance novels. This group all had contracts with Harlequin. Some had day jobs, some were retired, and all were having a great time and loving seeing their words in print. One of the women had contracts with three of the popular lines of the day. The interviewer asked her, “What do you do when you get writer’s block?” Her expression stopped just this side of an eye roll and she replied, “Do you ask plumbers what they do when they get plumber block? This is a job. I write.”
Write. Is that that cure for writer’s block? Does it summon the muse from its distant place bringing a renewed well of creativity with it? No. But you can’t edit the blank page. Get the words on the paper (or the screen these days) trust in the process and maybe, just maybe, the process will trust you too. At the end of the day whether or not you can wait for your muse depends on how you view your writing. If it’s a hobby, yep, you can wait. If you see your writing life as a job—that leaky faucet needs to be fixed so—get back to work!
What’s your favorite solution for writer’s block? How do you call the muse?