Killing the Muse

I have to start by telling you that so far this year is – for the most part – going very well on the writing front. I’ve already sent out my first submission for the year and have a full line up for editing and writing new stories and novels. So keep that in mind as I tell you some of the not so good things that are happening and their effects on my ability to produce.

My day job has been the source of many cries of “Oh, The DRAMA”. The first half of the year has been very contentious and has landed us in mediated meetings. That wouldn’t be so bad if the “trouble maker” would follow the agreements we came up with in the meetings. In other words, we’ve been fighting off an on all year. More stress than I like in my day jobs, but I’ll stick it out until they either fire me or we get to the end of the school year and I get reassigned. During the lulls, I can focus on the students and my writing life is unaffected. During the flares, I get home in such a state of turmoil that I can sit still long enough to watch a commercial. I lost most of December to these funks. While things are going smoothly so far in the new year, I can see the writing on the wall. There are going to be more flares and more weeks of time when the Day Job follows me home like a zombie puppy.

I’ve heard all the advice about leave work and work and all that. That take a level of detachment that takes interferes with my ability to actually do my work. It also leaves me rather dead in the imagination department when I get home. I’ve written a number of scenes with the “trouble maker” in bad situations. Yea for all the new words, unfortunately they aren’t the kind of the stories that I could ever, or would ever even try, to publish. So while there are new words they don’t do me any good.

So I’m looking through all the advice sites and other self help kind of places for new strategies to try when the next flare happens and I come home so out of sorts that my muse decides to call in sick.

My current strategy is habit. I’m trying to make coming home and writing so much of a habit during this current lull that when the next flare happens my comfort will be to dive into my world and play with the words. Even if it isn’t strong enough to handle the fares, it will still serve me well when I’m just tired or bored or other minor disruptions. Not to mention everyone talking about writing as a career says that you have to make writing a habit. I know myself well enough to know that I just don’t do “Everyday”. I’ve tried and I’ve failed so many times it’s time to stop beating that dead horse. So if not everyday, how do I make it a habit? I’m trying to schedule myself for 20 hours a week just as though I were working a part time job. Which is what it is.

Any other suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you.


1 thought on “Killing the Muse”

  1. Something that’s helped me is the #2sentenceminimum hashtag on Google+, started by Tressa Green.

    The idea is you sit down and say “Ok, I’m going to write 2 sentences.” Just 2 sentences. Usually you end up writing a lot more than that. Then, if you want, you can share one or both of them on your G+ feed.

    Sharing isn’t required, but I find it helps keep me accountable, in a weird way. I also find that if I sit down and intend to write 2 sentences, I end up writing something like 800 words.

    I wish you luck! It’s not easy to make writing a habit. I also wish you luck with your job; that sounds like a yucky situation.


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