This post originally appeared October 25, 2009. None of the advice to kickstart your muse has lost its relevance. . .
I’m back from a weekend writing retreat and feeling recharged. It’s one thing to say “If I just had a chunk of time. . .” and actually sitting down and writing. I pushed through and finished my latest W.I.P.
How can you kickstart your muse?
- Don’t get out of the habit of daily writing. It’s easy to do. Life intrudes and “I’ll write tomorrow” can become a mantra. Instead, set your alarm for 10 minutes. You’ll be surprised how much you can write in that time and how much over the limit you’ll go.
- Turn off your inner editor. Don’t search for the perfect word. I’m a fan of XXX. When in doubt for the best word, the name of that character in the 2nd chapter, or whatever it is that you’re stuck on, insert XXX. When you come back to it during your edits, it won’t seem as important.
- Don’t reread what you’ve written. In preparation for this retreat, I printed off the last ten pages of what I’d written. I never looked at them. I started from the last sentence and pushed on from there.
- Even if you think you’re writing dreck, it’s good dreck. Not every building can be the Taj Mahal. Sometimes you have to start with a straw hut and make a lot of improvements.
Now that my book is done, I have a week to go through it and make my first cut of edits. On Nov. 1st, I’m starting a new story. I won’t be shooting for the full 50,000 words, but I’ll be participating in my own version of NaNoWriMo http://www.nanowrimo.org/ and taking my own advice.
****2017 Cheryl returning****I’m not sure which book I was stuck on as I don’t keep a book diary (bad me), but from the MSWord doc files I have stored, it might have been Tall, Dark and Slayer. Buy it here.
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