Wednesday, 7 August 2013
Finding your Elusive Muse
Finishing a book.
On the one hand it gives you a great feeling of satisfaction but on the other it can make you feel quite lost. After the rewritten MS has been submitted and you're facing a long, agonising wait for feedback from an agent, what should you do? Start the next book is the cry from those 'in the know'. But it's not that simple. You have vague ideas forming in your mind about the sequel, but what if an editor demands big changes to the first book? So, a new story perhaps? Not easy when you've spent years steeped in a particular world with the same set of characters. Ideas keep popping into your head so you scribble them down one after another. You even start writing a few pieces but these get abandoned soon after and filed in under 'work in progress' or 'story ideas'.
Perhaps it's time to take a break? So you read lots and try to occupy yourself with other activities, although in your heart of hearts you know you should be writing. And you beat yourself up about it. So, what should feel like a good place to be is actually quite unsettling. However, this is might be just me – I'm sure there are plenty of writers out there at this stage who don't feel like this at all. They're probably battling on with the next project and/or basking in their achievements so far. But for those with a restless nature the 'in between' bit can be a frustrating time.
Since finishing my book I've had some great ideas but as yet I've not been compelled to go very far with any of them. Perhaps the answer is to take a complete break from writing? Or should I try writing somewhere else for a change? What do you do when your focus is gone? Where is that pesky Muse when you need her? If you have any suggestions please share them, I'd love to know!