I really hate to admit this, but writing is a form of art.
Why do I hate to admit this? Well, I don’t like to think of writing as an art because artists of all sorts tend to get into this attitude of laziness.
“It’s art. Art can’t be rushed.”
Most of the time, this is an excuse for laziness. Oh, don’t you dare give me that look. It is, too! “I can’t paint right now – the muse isn’t with me.” THE MUSE ISN’T WITH THOSE EPISODES OF SHERLOCK YOU’RE BINGE-WATCHING, EITHER, SWEETIE.
But … there is another side to this.
It’s true that sometimes ‘the muse’ does run away and leave you hanging. You have no idea what to write. Every word comes out dry and tasteless. There’s not joy to your writing. Writing feels exhausting and worthless,
And other times, the muse is there! Every word you write has flavor, texture. You’re a regular Shakespeare, and life is good.
I truly believe that there are ways to regain the muse through various actions – taking a nice long walk, reading the Bible, praying, eating a box of chocolates, listening to music – but the fact remains that, at that point in time, writing isn’t working for you.
You’ve lost the muse.
*circles back to actual subject of post*
Because the muse does tend to desert writers – even for months on end at times – writing can … vary.
Yes, you can keep writing, but it takes twice or three times as long, the quality of your work goes down, which means more revising, which means more editing, which means more time spent preparing your novel, and …
Before you know it, a three-month project takes a year.
This happened to me with Ivy Introspective. I rescheduled the publication several times because I had to rewrite it over and over again. It was frankly quite exhausting, and I just couldn’t get it to come out right.
Sometimes I’d spend a whole day writing just a couple paragraphs.
It was just the opposite with At Her Fingertips (and always has been). It flies from my pen (well, computer … keyboard … whatever). It’s always seemed alive to me somehow. I don’t know why … God decided to bless AFOP for some reason.
(Not to get all “preachy”, but God inspires all things that are awesome, so … you might want to look there, darlin’.) (#notashamed)
Circling Back to Original Subject, 2.0
Because of this fact of occasional – sometimes even frequent – writer’s block … making plans for your writing can be tough.
For instance, at the beginning of this year, I don’t myself I was going to write Once a Stratton, Caught in a Spell (my fantasy novel), and Interpreting Callie James. I’ve started Once a Stratton but never finished it, and the other two were left in the dust.
(What did I do with my time this summer? I’ve completely forgotten …)
I was also going to revise and edit At Her Fingertips, Flowers, Ivy Introspective, and The Dressmaker’s Secret. Well, at least I got 50%. 😛
I know that sounds crazy, but I could feasibly do this! Think about it.
Interpreting Callie James would probably be a novella … let’s say 25,000 words. I’ve written 65,000 words in a month; I could probably finish this in a lot less than that. 1 month.
Caught in a Spell would likely be a short novel/long novella of around 40,000 words based on the plot I have for it at the moment. That’s another month.
Once a Stratton. Longer novel, as it turns out. Two months.
Editing TDS and IvIn took about four months altogether, as we know from experience. It should have taken two in the state they were in; I’ll round to three months.
At Her Fingertips … hmm. It’s pretty easy for me, but it’s a big project. Three months.
Flowers, about a month.
That comes out to a year even.
Stupid muse. Stupid laziness.
I’d say that about 80% of my not accomplishing these things comes from laziness – procrastination, that is. That 20%, though? I think it’s the muse. Or the absence of the muse.
For other authors, probably most of that percentage would be life interfering.
I mean, I don’t have a lot of life (well, not until recently), so …? I honestly have no clue how they write and have a life. People are awesome. *two thumbs up to the lifers who write out there*
So that’s why making writing plans won’t necessarily work. Yes, you can plot and dream to write and edit five novels this year, but will they be any good? I don’t know. We can only hope.
Now, I must leave, because I do have a lot of projects going on and this is my only day of the week in which to do them.
(And yes, I did spend most of it writing this post … and the rest of it sleeping … and reading … I have a cold … and my brain is dead ….)
Does this post make any sense whatsoever? Do you sometimes lose the muse? Is ‘the muse’ even a thing? What are your feelings about writing as an art form? What’s the ratio of books you’ve started to books you’ve finished? Mine is 4 to 1,000,000,000,000,000