Monday, July 20, 2015
The time my Muse ran away...
For the last two years i have struggled with writing... I blamed it on several things, too many life obligations, PTA, work, the loss of my dad, my out of state move, you name it. I spewed this to anyone who would listen. I went on and on about how I just didn't have the time. I took it out on my books, I began resenting them for not just free-falling from my brain to the computer.
As i'm sure you all know, I've been working on Cursed, the spin-off of Sacrificed told from Gina's perspective since before I even published Sacrificed that puts it's start in the fall of 2013! I couldn't figure out why my Muse ran away. What did I do to make her leave? Was my tank just empty? Was I a failure? Was I doomed to be a casualty of the indie revolution? The last remains to be seen, haha. But these questions plagued me day in and day out. I started becoming my own worst enemy.
I would do anything to avoid writing, to avoid sitting down at my computer because the fear that I had nothing left was over-whelming. To those of you who stay current on here probably saw my little post about leaving social media. I used it as my biggest distraction and a tool in my self confidence beatings.
I would consistently see author after author boasting impressive word counts daily, and think to myself, what the hell is wrong with me? Well, I still haven't figured out the answer to that, I did realize that it wasn't healthy for me to obsess over what was going on in the internet. So I left. That was it, I just deleted my Facebook one day.
A week passed, then two, and then I was getting an unfamiliar itch...
I sat down at the computer thinking I was going to do some mindless web-surfing, maybe even a little online shopping, that always cheers me up. Next thing you know my Muse is there kicking me in the backside and my fingers were flying over the keyboard in that old, familiar way. It was exhilarating!
Now, i'm not saying that my experience is typical, or even close to normal, but I realized that social media became too much for me. Over-stimulation if you will. I won't say that I'll never return but being a virtual baby to publishing and the beast that is the indie world, it was too much for me. It honed in on every insecurity I had about writing, seeing writer tips every single day made me stop and critique every word I wrote. I couldn't get anything right because all of my circuits were firing. Virtual voices screaming at me "Too many adverbs!" "What are you, a comma whore?" "That's not very engaging." "For god-sake if you use that word one more time!!!*shakes virtual fist at me*" And I buckled. I shut down.
Now for those of you reading this saying, what a baby, all that's for editing, psh, duh.
My logical brain knew that. It really did.
But for me, and maybe others out there it made it impossible for me to get words out to edit because all of those tips and rules were seemingly everywhere I looked and I couldn't shift into gear. I couldn't sponge the well-meaning tips, tricks and advice from my brain long enough to just get the story out.
My Muse didn't like the creative beatings I was lashing out every time she tried to talk to me so she ran away. Only returning when I detoxed from my social media induced critiquing frenzy. Why am sharing this? Because I starting thinking about how alone I felt in my writer's block prison and for TWO years, I didn't even realize what was plaguing me. For those of you who can shift gears easily, you're awesome, rock on! For those of you who have more trouble shifting gears, getting bogged down my the editing side of your brain and can't figure out why it won't shut the hell up and leave you and your Muse alone; you're awesome too, but try logging out of social media for a week or two (I'm not suggesting that you delete your social media like I did, logging out would work just as well so long as you don't log in for your designated time), read a couple books relax and give it another go.
I hope this helps someone, somewhere in the big, wide inter-world!
Until next time,