How To Find Your Lost Writer’s Muse #WritersLife #ASMSG #Writer

writers

This year my writer’s muse has gone missing in action A LOT! When I get a spare moment I will be checking her contract because I don’t believe I hired her to:

  • Disappear for weeks on end with no note or clue as to where she is going.
  • Return whenever she feels like it, usually in the small hours when I am fast asleep and cuddling my Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook of 2017.
  • Tempt and tease me with an array of delicious story ideas and then at about eight thousand words vanish. 

When your writer’s muse runs off it can be quite scary. The door to your writer’s brain becomes locked and no matter how hard you try you can’t access your box of creative ideas, piles of plot threads and character warehouse. Your days become filled with staring at a bit of blank paper, wiping away a tear whilst reading your Twitter feed (your writer’s muse may have run off but I guarantee everyone else’s muse will be hard at work) and when you wash the dishes there will be an eerie silence inside your mind.

Once you become a writer you will understand how silence can be both pleasurable (when you have to hit a huge word count target and the house goes silent) and torturous. The silence which comes when your writer’s muse goes missing in action is like no other silence. It is horrible and disturbing. I am sending all writers out there with ‘quiet heads,’ a huge virtual hug. Hang in their guys!

The moment you start whimpering “I wish my beloved muse would come home,” you will find that a gang of marauding writing demons will enter your brain, causing havoc. They will be chanting helpful stuff like “we think you should quit!” and “she’s / he’s left you because your writing stinks!” After a few weeks or even months of listening to this motley crew you will be an emotional wreck.

So, what options do you have?

  • You can accept your muse has vanished and carry on listening to the crowd of demons. Nothing good comes from this option.
  • You can force yourself to write and hold the belief that one day your muse will return. I have carried on writing when my muse has been off gallivanting. It is a hard thing to do and eventually you do discover the reason for their disappearance. In my experience the reason is to do with something you are avoiding. 
  • You can speed things up, declare them lost and go find them.

I am going to work on the basis you have all selected the third option.

Here’s how to find your lost writer’s muse:

  1. Tweet they are missing and ask anyone to let you know if they have seen them. I did this, tweeted to say my writer’s muse was missing in action. An American writer tweeted back a few hours later to say he’d seen her in a New York nightclub. She’d been making some interesting moves. This made me smile. You need to smile when you are going through this and you need to reach out to other writers. Don’t suffer this alone. 
  2. Before you set off to search for them you need to work on your head. When your writer’s muse returns your brain needs to be a calm and welcoming place. Sometimes muses run away because our minds are full of rubbish, unwanted memories and scary thoughts. Check out some free meditation videos or download an app. I swear to you, I used to think meditation was a load of fluff but then I tried it and my life changed. It is like sending a cleaner into your head. Tidy up your thoughts. 
  3. If your muse ran off mid-project, to find your lost muse you have to go back into the project. you were working on. I am afraid they are hiding within it. When we encounter a writing problem with our drafts and we can’t fix it, our muses stay inside it to try to work out what’s wrong. It sounds daft but believe me on this. They are trapped inside your story and need to be helped out. It has taken me a long time to realise this. So, take a deep breath, grab a torch, rope, a flask containing a warm drink, a comfy blanket and some pest repellent for typos. Journey back into your story and return to the point where your muse disappeared.  You know what made you leave that story so quickly. You need to solve the problem and free your writer’s muse. 
  4. If your muse went missing after a project had finished and you need to come up with a new one, you need to make a list of all their favourite hang outs. Muses will linger inside good books, they will squat in the middle of thought-provoking films, they will hide amongst a theatre production, they will hide behind stones on long walks in the countryside and they will lurk at the bottom of rock pools on the beach. Once you find your muse all will be well again. Work out what where your muse hangs out and go tell them to come home. 

But whatever you do – don’t panic. You will find your writer’s muse.

Take care out there writers.

photo credit: Grazia Mele N08/33234705601″>Inspired by the autumn via photopin (license)

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

44 thoughts on “How To Find Your Lost Writer’s Muse #WritersLife #ASMSG #Writer

  1. I have a similar, but unrelated problem. My muse is no darn good! She is no good whatsoever whenever I enter my concise, synopsis style of writing. She never insists I elaborate more, or makes any useful contribution to the art of writing, all she is ever interested in is the plot.
    So I think I am in the market for a new, more helpful muse, one that will actually help to improve my writing!

      1. I need a muse with an English degree, one who will shout at me if I leave too much out. Does your muse do that?
        MY problem, I think, is that I cut my writing teeth by first being an editor and writing far too many synopsis. Maybe that is all I’m good for!

  2. I surely would kick her ass if she went clubbing without me! We never loose them you know, not really. I think they hide up and watch us squirm from a safe spot behind the mirror where I sure as hell wouldnt look. Or maybe they have to occasionally behave like hormone driven, acne covered teens once in a while. When done they come back gobby and tired . Just my thoughts on the matter of missing muses, but who knows maybe it is just mine.

  3. I love the idea my muse might be trapped inside the story and need help getting out. Great idea when you feel stuck I like the imagery of it. I have to get her and do what needs to be done – I would never leave a friend like that!! I’m in.

  4. My muse has been a bit elusive lately, too! I love the tip to tidy up my thoughts, and of course, to smile. When my manuscript felt like a paperweight instead of a piece of art I actually did the unthinkable–I asked someone to read it. The critique helped re-invigorate me. I think it’s the collaboration with another person–feeling like I wasn’t alone that coaxed the muse back. I don’t think the power of the smile, and the simple invitation to welcome the muse home can be underestimated. Thank you for the post, and for reminding me that I’m not alone!

  5. I know how horrendous a missing muse can be it’s a nightmare. I have lost mine more than once ….
    I even wrote a poem about it once a bad poem!!! ๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ’œ

      1. It certainly is not …. perhaps we should chain them up in the basement…. Nope I have no basement… And they would probably sulk like mad!! Have a good week.๐Ÿ’œ๐ŸŒน

  6. This sounds rather like I need to deliver a line from one of my favourites…. “You have lost your muchness!”

    My problem is shade more worrying in that I have the ideas and characters and stories. I have never had writers block as such, but do have an issue of getting into the writing zone and doing it. I feel my quote is indeed relevant to that!

    In your case, get Roxy to take you out as Museless Lucy. Have a jaunt as infill dancer since one has broken a leg, don’t get a tattoo mind on the basis of drinking with this lot! You never quite know what it might look like in the morning.

    You write well so get thee back your muchness and musiness post haste ๐Ÿ™‚ x

      1. Such a good term is muchness! But yes, when you find it you will indeed be the Lucy I have met on occasions of…hang about I’m drifting into Alice lore again… ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. The last time my muse disappeared, all my main characters died (sort of). Now I have to bring at least one back or the muse will not be amused. Meditation seems like a good idea if it can get to the dream-quality state with alertness… but she seems to hide off the main road and there isn’t always a good tavern there where she might be a featured singer, but sometimes she hitchhikes if she thinks i have a good enough vehicle… I think she’s gone underwater with too many debts. I have to see if I can lease a submarine. If I can get one I could look for your muse too. So what does she look like, and what type of scuba gear does she use. I’ll tell her you say “Hi” if I see her.

  8. Those muses are tricky. Wild and carefree, they act then think later. Mine has been sorry many times. I forgive it, because how can I resist those big blue muse eyes? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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