Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What's Standing In Your Way?

by Sariah S. Wilson

So with all these fun questions going on (and I'm sure I'm not the only one having a great time reading all the answers/comments), I thought I'd add to the mix. (Plus, I've spent the last two days trying to think of a blog topic and nothing's working. No sleep plus busyness plus a heartbreaking football loss (other team scored in the last 30 seconds of the game and one of our team's cornerbacks wound up with a broken collar bone - plus my son feeling like the loss was his fault because he couldn't stop the quarterback quickly enough) equals a crushing blow to creativity.)

1. What is the main thing standing in your way right now as far as your writing goes? By that I mean - what's stopping you from starting your next book or stopping you from writing as much as you would like or keeping you from editing your current manuscript, etc.

2. If you were given an extra hour every day, would you spend it writing?

3. What do you do when your Muse is gone?

The main thing(s) standing in my way right now are small children, broken up periods of sleep, and everything that has to be done. I now know that I could not have been a mother of nine children like my mom, nor could I have had several children close in age. I'm barely functioning with the 21-month difference between my youngest two. I don't know how to get everything done, and as I'm just hanging on by my fingernails, the last thing I want to do is sit down and write and try to be creative. I want to turn my brain off.

So, in answer to number two, if I had an extra hour every day, I would probably want to use it for sleeping or cleaning up.

My Muse has definitely left the building (and has been out partying for the last two years - I don't know when she's planning on coming back home). The best remedy would probably be just to sit down and force myself to write, but I'm wondering whether people have suggestions on how to stimulate creativity.


At 9/20/2009 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Laziness. Its just so much easier to read than it is to write. I'm not lazy in the tradition sense. I make my bed. Never forget to brush my teeth. Floss daily. Punctual to a fault. Volunteer at the cannery. Clean the church once a month. I even mop the outside walks and decks twice a week. I've become one of those evil passive readers, instead of a proactive writer. Where would the rest of you be without lazy bums like me?

2. Are you kidding? An extra hour? Honey, its going to take more than just 60 minutes of free time to stuff down the writer's black hole. Can we rephrase this? How about, what would you do if we took four hours away from you every day? All that cleaning and volunteering in question #1, gone! I'd keep my lazy time.

3. Celebrate! The muse is gone, the muse is gone. No more muse! Why don't we look at this question a little more critically. Something like:

Sariah: What is stopping you from writing my next book?

Me (Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous): The muse is dead! I stabbed him in a dark alley and left his dead body in the dumpster behind The Little Italian Bistro on 47th street. There were no witnesses except the fat cook taking smokes break in the backdoor. He told me I did the right thing and gave me 50% off coupon for Macaroni Grill. Said the food was better there. You can't go to prison for something like that, can you? I mean, it was ugly, but who's going to press charges for killing the muse?

At 9/20/2009 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

1) Kids. I'm sure I could find the time if I really wanted to write. But with 3 kids ages 5, 3, and 8 months, it just isn't top priority in my life.

2) If I was given an extra hour each day, it would have to be without kids or distractions. I would need a clean home and kids gone with dad and phone off the hook. But, yes, I would probably love to write then.

3) I like to listen to music that fits the style of my story. Every novel idea I have I have found music that kind of fits it.

At 9/21/2009 9:04 AM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

1. What's stopping me right now from writing? I've just finished a fanfic novella, which I've been working on for a year now, and which I'm posting in installments at various fan forums and on my personal website. I might not get real money for my fanfic, but I do get personal responses for each chapter, which is almost as good. (Well, for my soul, anyway.) Now I would love to get started on a book that I can actually send to an LDS publisher with hopes of getting it published, but as yet, I haven't come up with "the" idea. I do have some things percolating in the back of my mind, but so far, nothing tangible has emerged from the primal sludge.

2. An extra hour every day? I'd definitely use it for writing, if I had something to write. But I'd probably just end up falling asleep. If I did manage to stay awake, though, I certainly wouldn't use it for housework. In February, I became a member of an online book swap, and since then, I have a wonderfully huge pile of books to be read, which is in constant rotation. I've discovered some great new authors this way. I also have a very much smaller pile of books that I want my teenagers to read, but they do not share my enthusiasm. They regard every new package with suspicion and respond to my gleeful exclamations with groans of "Not another one, Mom!" But anyway, my extra hour a day would definitely be spent with words, in one way or another.

3. What do I do when my Muse is gone? Read. Well, that's my default answer to everything, I guess, but it's true. Sometimes I watch television -- that's always been good for my fanfic muse. Sometimes I daydream. That might actually be the best thing to do to inspire the muse -- just daydream and see where your thoughts take you. Daydreaming with my fingers on the keyboard would probably be even better, though that can be difficult when you're in the middle of making lunch, or doing the laundry.

At 9/21/2009 5:43 PM, Blogger Becca said...

1. Fear. Lame, huh? But sometimes I'm afraid to write.
2. I have just been given 2.5 extra hours a day - my youngest started Kindergarten last week. And some days I write. It's good, I'm not going to lie to you. Other days I do other good things. But there are days with many writing hours.
3. I sing to her (see And also I allow myself to recharge with really good reading (as opposed to the *lame* reading I allow myself after a successful bout of writing).

At 9/22/2009 9:58 AM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

1. I have to write. I have deadline. Which means I was writing til 11:30 p.m. and up at 5:30 a.m. this morning.

2. An extra hour a day would mean that I'd have my checking account balanced today, my bills paid tomorrow, and my conference presentation done yesterday.

3. When the muse is gone, I write out of order. More research is always good as well.

At 9/23/2009 1:37 PM, Blogger York, Alvin said...

I have lots of ideas, but find myself distracted by video games. The hours go by and then I have to get ready for work. My schedule is busy, but the little free time I have to write is wasted in front of a video screen.

At 9/27/2009 8:51 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

1. Health issues. Bleck.

2. I'd like to say I'd write more, but I'd probably spend it playing Spider Solitaire.

3. Muse? What muse? Am I supposed to have a muse?


Post a Comment

<< Home