“Never forget that the nurturing and preservation of your own muse is job one. Lose it and you may be losing a great deal.” ~Robert Genn
So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about any progress on my novel. This is because…er… there hasn’t been any. Not really. There’s been moments here and there where I would scratch something down on a notepad or an old envelope, whatever happens to be handy, but usually these were just more what if questions or sudden realizations that something wasn’t going to work in my story.
There have been plenty of times when I would sit down at the computer, just me and the keyboard and a sense of responsibility to my Work-In-Progress, only to find out there was no creativity or motivation to keep us company. Thankfully, the muse decided to join me the other day. I wish I knew the exact incantation for motivation, the spell to summon the muse, but I don’t. The closest I’ve come is the 5 simple steps below.
Yes, this is my sage advice now that I’ve overcome the curse of the writer’s block, not once, not twice…but…okay, just the once. But for what’s it’s worth, here it is:
1) The computer is evil. Stay away from it. It’s that simple. The computer is not your friend, it’s your enemy. Okay, maybe it’s your frenemy. It pretends to like you. It can be civil. But mostly it’s just there to manipulate you and waste your time. (At the very least, a time-out from each other might do you some good.)
2) Have a pot of tea made first.
3) Find a comfy chair in a quiet room, with a table handy (for your tea-cup, of course). Add your favourite pencil, eraser, and pens, and a notepad.
4) Pick out the soundtrack for your book. Writing with the right music is essential. For me at least. When I’m feeling detached from my story it’s always music that brings me back to it. Eventually.
5) Close your eyes and just feel your characters. In fact, take a moment, right now, to let them get under your skin. Imagine the most heart-wrenching scene of your book, and go there, emotionally. Reading a book is an emotional journey, writing one should be too.
And those are the five simple steps I took to get past my so-called writer’s block. When I allow myself to emotionally connect with my characters, the thoughts and words start to flow.
The most important element for me, is the music, and my almost-no-fail inspiration music for my book is the score of the visually stunning movie from 2006, “The Fountain” directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) and starring Rachel Weisz and Hugh Jackman. The score is by Clint Mansell. Click here for a sample of his work from the movie. Its beautiful, haunting melancholic tapestry of instruments lulls me into a world of fantasy where it’s impossible not to imagine my characters and their adventures, or more importantly, their feelings.