Help! I’ve Lost My Muse!

Kate 2Kate Wyland

This last year plus has to officially qualify as the weirdest period of my life ever, full of unexpected positives and negatives. It started off with my husband being hospitalized, which meant we had to cancel our long-planned trip to Italy. Then we were pushed into buying a house when we had no intention of doing so. A big positive event was our older daughter’s marriage, but unfortunately I injured my leg at the wedding. Ended up having a less than successful surgery and a miserable rehabilitation, and there went our Italy trip again. In the midst of all this, I discovered my horse Glory is going blind.

144561219_3464e95e6f_nPersonally, I would have thought that was plenty for one year but apparently fate decided otherwise. Out of the blue, Hubs was offered a job that was too fun to resist. Unfortunately, this meant we had to sell the house we just bought and move to a new area.

So I’ve spent the last three months prepping our house to sell (getting rid of and/or storing a lot of stuff), finding a temporary apartment to live in while we got to know our new place, driving back and forth to the old house (two hours each way) to pack and clear out more stuff, and after the house sold, arranging for everything else to go into storage until we found where we wanted to settle. We originally planned to rent for a year before making a decision, but ended up falling in love. So now we’re in escrow, waiting to move into our new home in October.

All this has proven too much for my muse. A few months ago she threw up her hands, packed her bags and departed for parts unknown. I haven’t written anything other than this blog since the beginning of the year! Even though I have five weeks with nothing to do I have no desire to sit down and write. I should finish my current WIP and start on another I’ve promised but the well is dry. After having my writing dominate my life for the last few years, it’s weird to have no impulse to put pen to paper (or more accurately, fingers to keyboard).

3547250716_0e4194cff9_nWhat do you do when your muse deserts you? How do you regain your desire and enthusiasm? I know part of it is just putting my butt in the chair, but it used to be fun. How do I get the fun back?

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Crying: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/91844726@N00/144561219″>Oh cielo, lasciatemi morire!</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Typing photo: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/66697111@N00/3547250716″></a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Forewarning Cover

FOREWARNING
Healing is her life. Will it be her death?

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Wyoming Cover - 4x6 - #2.

Wyoming Escape
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?

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Cover - Images - 2.

 Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?

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Connect with Kate Wyland:
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateWyland
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/katewyland
Website : http://katewyland.com

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24 Responses to Help! I’ve Lost My Muse!

  1. boppingbeth says:

    My muse took a vacation during the months my youngest had a breast cancer scare. What got me past it were suggestions from the Holly Lisle book: Mugging the Muse. I started filling out character sheets for one of my main characters, and my muse announce I was ‘filling it out all wrong’ and proceeded to correct me. Now we are on talking terms.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wranglers says:

    Love the photos. I think, just give yourself time. Glad the blog keeps you writing some. I’m kinda in a place too. I have one book, the Anthology (That you have a story in–I will use this photo–It’s beautiful), to get finished. I am at my grandson’s and having problems with the internet, I also have 2 more books early finished. But, I am caught up in my family history adventure too. A trip to Italy sounds great. Do you have relatives there? Cher’ley

    Like

    • katewyland says:

      Nope, no relatives. Just a place I’ve always wanted to spend some time in–the historian in me. 🙂 It was supposed to be an anniversary celebration.
      I do envy the people who can just sit down and write no matter what’s going on around them. Wish I had that kind of concentration.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate,
    Keep reading whatever you like to read. Your mind will say it’s had enough of someone else’s words and want to start putting down your own words.
    Putting your butt in the chair is a good thing – but you don’t have to be working on your WIP. Write anything even a letter to yourself. When the time is right you’ll get back to it.
    Don’t be hard on yourself for not writing. It would have been a miracle if you kept on writing. Take care of yourself and it will return.
    – Stephen

    Liked by 1 person

    • katewyland says:

      I do a lot of reading, but so far haven’t gotten the push to get back to creating my own stories. I’m sure it will return eventually. Hopefully, by next week things will have actually calmed down and I can focus on just being for a while.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  4. Doris says:

    With all that is happening to myself and the rest of us, if I didn’t have something to do I think the consequences would be disasterous. It is the very act of trying to work through knowing that…well let’s just say, I have to have something. I think your muse will return. Like you, she’s getting used to her new ‘digs’ Doris

    Like

    • katewyland says:

      I suspect you’re right that once we get settled into our “new digs” and away from this holding pattern, my muse will be much happier. But that 5 weeks off yet. 😦
      I’ve certainly had plenty to do up til now. I hope that if things quiet down next week, I’ll feel more like playing on the keyboard.

      Like

  5. Mike Staton says:

    When my desire to write flees, I will sometimes just force myself to write. Usually, when I do and get into it again for a bit, I find I’m again enjoying the process of creating a short story. I find taking a painting and writing a story about what the painting depicts… that usually works.

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    • katewyland says:

      Using a writing prompt like a painting is a great idea. I should try a short, short and see if that sparks things.
      Once we move into our new house I’ll have a great place to write and won’t have any excuses then.

      Like

  6. Oh dear, I don’t know what to tell you. Maye once the dust settles, you’ll be more inspired. Good luck.

    Like

  7. Nancy Jardine says:

    With such a lot happening it’s hard to settle to writing but hopefully at the right time it will come back, Kate. I’m almost feeling the same way since my family ties have meant a huge slowdown with my WIP writing. The breaks in between adding to the ms (s) mean a lot of unproductive time spent trying to recapture where I was before. But like Mike, says above, just writing anything – a blog post, or emails might help. I feel as though I’m achieving something by keeping my blog active, even though sometimes it’s guests who fill slots etc. and I’m just doing the intros. As much reading as possible will hopefully help, too.

    Like

    • katewyland says:

      It does take some time to get back into the story, doesn’t it? And trying to remember what I had in mind.
      I haven’t done my own blog in months. Really need to get back to that. Starting by commenting on social media again. Been MIA everywhere.

      Like

  8. I’m curious as to why you’re still standing, Kate! What a summer! I can definitely relate as my muse has been on vacation somewhere for two years and won’t come back. I keep offering her the moon but she is enjoying herself, I guess. Hope yours comes back soon and I’ll continue working on mine.

    Like

  9. Joe Stephens says:

    I guess I have just always approached writing differently. I sit down to write. Not every day, but at least 3 to 4 days a week. I just do it. I don’t even think about whether I want to. I wish I had the ability to have the same mindset when it comes to exercise. So I’m probably of no help to you at all. I do find that, no matter my mood when I start, I feel better when I’m finished, so maybe if you went into it with that in mind, it would help.

    Like

    • katewyland says:

      Your approach works for me with non-fiction. Worked as a tech writer for years and also did newsletters. Just sit down and do it.
      Doesn’t work as well for fiction. I need quiet time and right now my mind just ain’t quiet. I tend to be most productive first thing in the morning before distractions. But I do plan on staring at the computer screen starting next week. 🙂

      Like

  10. I find that when my muse disappears, I have to reassure myself that she will come back. In the meantime, I try to write other things (blog, article for a newsletter, etc.). When she still hasn’t surfaced, then I force myself to sit in the chair and hunt for something to inspire me (usually by trolling the internet for anthology submission calls or flash fiction sites that grab my interest). The important thing is to not get down on yourself. We all go through it. Especially when life gets in the way which sounds like yours definitely did! Hang in there, Kate, and thank you for sharing. I think your post struck a chord in many of us.

    Like

    • katewyland says:

      Starting next week, I won’t have anything to do. No packing, no financial data to gather, no housing to look for–nothing! A real shift from the last 4 months. After decompressing for a while I suspect I’ll be more ready to start playing again, at least until we move into our new place. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kate, I’m not surprised your muse has taken a vacation — you need to as well! Maybe not Italy, but how about a weekend at the beach, or in the mountains? Or, if not a weekend away, how about a day or two, spending time at park, the botanical gardens, a few museums? Getting out of the house/apartment, away from the “usual distractions,” and absorbing nature and watching people may just be the catalyst to stimulate the muse once again. I’m planning a trek to my cabin a few evenings this week as I have no meetings and just one story interview during this week’s nights (whereas the following week I’m gone three nights out of five!) and I intend to get back into one of the WIPs, which, I too, have neglected for months. May you and your muse find a mutual meeting place very soon! 🙂

    Like

  12. S. J. Brown says:

    You are correct you need to get your butt in the chair. Then go back and re read something you wrote out loud. Make sure you have a blank file open. Soon you will be jotting down thoughts in the new file. Don’t concentrate on what you have to get written, just let the muse slowly sneak into the room with random thoughts. It may take a few seat sessions, but she will eventually sit beside you and guide your hands on the keyboard again.

    Like

  13. erinfarwell says:

    I went through this same thing last month. Loved my book but had to stop working on it for awhile and had a hard time getting back into it. First, I did some research, more to get me back into the time and place of my story than needing the information. From there the passion came back and I love it again. I think writing a book is like a marriage, sometimes you love it, sometimes you tolerate it and during those times you trust that you’ll love it again and, hopefully, you do. 🙂

    Like

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