The Muse is on Vacation

January 29, 2021

After any life change, you have to access your situation and adjust to the new reality. My writing muse is taking time off. I was afraid that in moving, I’d lose my identity as a writer. Indeed, I’ve had a hard time mustering enthusiasm for my next book and other related projects on my 2021 goal list. Is it because my research involves hours of online searches for bathroom shelves, bookcases, towel racks, and other household necessities? If not items, I’m looking up reviews on local service people. Or maybe it’s the clutter around the house that keeps diverting my attention.

Is it possible to clear the mental fog to focus on writing? Or is it the book itself that’s holding me back? Could it be I haven’t yet found the “spark” to inspire me for this story? I have done the synopsis, which will act as a story guideline. But maybe I’d rather write a new series centered in this location instead of the one we’ve left. I have already written the first book in that regard. It merely needs revision to get in shape.

But I do feel an obligation to fans of my current series. This, if anything, may give me the kick in the pants I need to start writing again. What advice do you have to offer? I know some of my writer friends have dealt with these issues. How do you revive your interest in writing, especially if you’re indie published, after a drastic life change? How did you get back in the groove?


• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , |  10 Comments

10 thoughts on “The Muse is on Vacation

  1. Nancy,
    You’ve just been through a tremendous change in your life. And you’re one of the most productive, enterprising authors I know. Give yourself time and the answer will come to you—to write another book in the series, start a new series, whatever. Don’t pressure yourself. You might be heading for something completely new and different that you know nothing about—yet.

    1. Thanks, Marilyn. I appreciate your words of support. Yes, time will tell, especially after all these house-related things get off my mind and I start looking for something to fill the vacancy.

  2. I think you deserve time off from your writing. And maybe it is because you are exhausted from packing and moving and unpacking. That makes everybody tired. Give it time and you will be in the mood to write again. I sure love your Bad Hair mysteries by the way.

    1. Thank you, Ann. And you’re right. Each day has been exhausting, although it’s getting better now as we’ve mostly unpacked the boxes in the garage. Now it’s a matter of getting all the stuff done on the house.

  3. I am a writer too, and this has happened to me. A series of life events including a move sent my Muse into hiding for quite a while. What’s worse, I didn’t even know she was gone.
    I am the type of person who reassesses their life every five years. I figure out what’s not exactly right in my life and make a plan to change it.
    This particular time, I listed the types of activities that make me happy. Writing was one of them. I always knew that, but it had gotten lost along the way. My Muse is only with me when I have the time and the willingness to listen to what she has to tell me.
    But how to fix this?
    Well, I quit my soul sucking job. On my list that same year was a goal to find a job that made me happy. It meant another life event, but I knew it was the right decision. One year later, I have the time to let myself just “be”.
    And just like that, my Muse came running back to help me let out the stories I want and need to tell.

    Good luck on your writing journey!

    1. Good Gravy and OMG Nancy!
      You are so uber, ultra productive, I don’t accomplish as much as you in my fantasies. At Sleuthfest 2014 you told me to join MWA, finish my manuscript and submit it for the mentor program.
      The query letter I’m writing today is for THAT same novel (to be fair to myself, it HAS morphed multiple times since then, of course for the better).
      I say give yourself 1 billion gold stars, take a guilt-free month off, and let yourself have a few days where nothing happens.
      Even sitting doing nothing on your couch, you’ll always be an inspiration to me.

      1. Thanks so much, Lisbeth. I am glad to hear you are moving ahead with your work. As for me, I have started writing again. I’m still distracted by getting-settled issues but the to-do list is lessening! Your words are inspiring to me, so thank you.

  4. Thank you for sharing, Alexsandra. It’s encouraging to read how your muse returned. I am hopeful that mine will make a reappearance when I have the time to listen. Part of my problem is that I’m usually super organized with directed goals. Since we started this move, everything has been thrown into chaos. But I am gradually getting reorganized. It’s also harder being away from all my writing friends, not only from the move but also from the lack of in-person events. Critique group always gave me the incentive to get some pages done.

  5. I am also super organized, so I feel you. There is nothing worse than chaos to people like us.
    I have recently joined an online writer’s group, sponsored by the local library and it has helped a lot, especially during this pandemic. You’ve got this!

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