Adventures in Writing: Soak it in the Muse Juice

Yes, I said it again. And I’ll keep saying it. MUSE JUICE. I don’t know where the fuck it came from, but apparently my brain has latched on like a leech in a precarious area you can’t quite reach.

Adventures in Writing

If someone tells you they’re having a difficult time writing, believe them. Something happened and things aren’t quite working out. It might be with the characters, the story, the plot, whatever. Writing isn’t always easy. Sure, there are times that I can bang out a thousand words and be content with what I’ve written. However, it’s more often than not that I am also struggling. So, I soak it in the muse juice. If a story isn’t working or the characters are fighting in my head, or whatever… I put it aside. This might be why I have so many open stories going on at once. If one isn’t flowing, I look to another. It takes me longer to get things done, but sometimes it’s worth the wait.

“Soaking it in the Muse Juice” is like sticking it in a drawer or a specific file folder (where some stories go to die) in order to get it out of your head. That way, when you pick it back up, you can look at it with fresh eyes (and horror – there’s always the horror).

Okay, wait. If that’s a paper copy in your hands, put down the matches.

Sure, it looks bad now, but it can be remade into something beautiful. You just need to get your handy dandy red (or purple) pen and give it a good look. Sure, it might not be finished, or perhaps this story holds no feeling for you whatsoever now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some gems among the trash. This is why I don’t really delete anything. I make cut files. Something I cut from one place may take on a whole new life elsewhere.

Many times, my muse has given me a nibble of an idea that is barely the size of a nanite and expects me to build from that. Sometimes that’s just not possible. Toss it in the muse juice and let it grow. Kind of like when you get distracted by the day job, stress, life in general, and open your fridge and find something growing in there.

Gross, I know. But, an excellent point, right?

Anyway. Where was I? I got lost about what might be growing in my fridge, and being a writer, we’re supposed to stop writing and go clean it, right? RIGHT? OMG. I have to go look. Just… give me a moment.

Phew, that was fun. Okay. I’m back and my fridge is clean and the dishwasher is running. Life is back in balance. You see how easy it is for me to get distracted? That happens to all writers. You are normal. (If this doesn’t happen to you, might want to get that checked… if you don’t procrastinate how do you … well… function? Properly? Psha.)

Remember to Persevere through the Procrastination

You’ll hear other writers, and see lovely lists on the Twitter, about all the things they’re doing when they have a deadline. While they’re procrastinating by doing things like loading the dishwasher and deep-cleaning the freezer, they’re also allowing their subconscious to work out the kinks in the story. Sometimes, a mundane task will help reveal something you didn’t think of before. And hopefully it isn’t something that makes you want to scrap everything you’d worked on so far and start anew.

There are reasons that creatives get ideas in the shower or while doing non-creative boring mundane tasks. That’s when the muse juice goes to work soaking that tiny smudge of an idea into something workable. Something that can be molded into a story or poem or work of art.

Tips and Tricks

When you open your favorite work in progress (aka WIP) and you read a little so you know where you’re picking up because why would you leave yourself a short note about what’s supposed to happen next, you freeze. Your brain feels like you just sucked down a milkshake or ate a bowl of ice cream in record time. OW.

What do you do? Stop, look over the WIP. If that doesn’t get things flowing again, then get up and move. Turn on some music that is related to your work. Are you writing fantasy? Listen to the soundtracks for fantasy movies. Are you writing an action comic? Maybe some anime soundtracks will help. Are you writing erotica? Well, then there’s a sexy song playlist out there just waiting for you to crank it up. Horror? Scifi? There’s music for you, too. You just have to find it.

Okay, Mischa, we found the music, it’s playing. Now what?

Well, now you move. Get up and fold that basket of towels. Match socks. Balance the checkbook (who the fuck still uses checks?). Print a 1-minute cleaning checklist from Let the music seep into your subconscious. Sweep the floors, dance a little if the music makes you want to move.

Get the blood flowing. Good blood flow means you can get more oxygen to your over-caffeinated, nutrient-starving brain cells.

After 30-45-60 minutes, whatever these little mundane tasks take, go check out your WIP. Something in your subconscious may have snapped you like a wet towel sooner than the 60 minute mark. Don’t whine at me  that mundane housekeeping tasks aren’t creative. That’s exactly what you need. You’ll benefit both ways. Why? Because you’ve given your creative side a rest. You got your body up and moving. (BE UP AND MOVING.)

Oh what’s the second reason? You just did up to an hour of housework that you don’t have to do later or worry about while you’re working on your WIP. Feel better? Good. Now go write something fabulous!

What do you think about soaking your ideas in the Muse Juice? Basically, another word for “I have no idea what the fuck you want me to do with this, my dear Muse, but uhhh, it’s gonna go in the pending file.”

Your music today is New Rules by DuaLipa because… you know the rules are going to be broken.

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  1. I walk a lot and think about the characters and just hope they begin to grow in my head so I know who they are – then I spill out everything and it is a holy mess! I say to myself phew – better out than in 😉 and go back the next day to edit it – usually it is so rough I can hardly read it. I can’t spell – so that’s all wrong for a start – writing is such an individual process x

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