Why I’ve Been So Quiet (My muse had other plans)

I haven’t blogged much in the past few weeks and though it’s not terribly unusual for me to take breaks, I thought I’d share a little about what I’ve been working on.

I spent quite a lot of time a few weeks ago thinking about writing. I’d been feeling a little lackluster with it lately despite the huge urge I felt to write. I felt like I had stories trying desperately to escape, but I just couldn’t quite hear them. It was frustrating and had me questioning whether writing was what I really wanted.

I took out my journal one day and started listing places I thought I might want to write. It ranged from the generic “book” to specific magazine titles that I liked. In the end it was a very, very short list.

Since magazines always seemed like the easy way to go (I really don’t know why it seems that way, it probably isn’t), I stared at the few I had written down and couldn’t come up with a single spark. I felt bored just looking the list.

At that point, I put my list away and didn’t look at it for a few days. I was feeling lost and frustrated and spent time instead focusing on my garden, my stepson’s baseball games, and work. I don’t think I wrote a single thing for over a week, not even a journal entry.

When I finally pulled my journal back out, I tried to remember what I liked writing when I was in grade school and college. I described each particular piece trying to recall titles, subjects, or turns of phrase.

Then I read my entry and had one of those fabulous moments of “ohhh… it seems so obvious.” Fiction. With the exception of two things listed, everything was fiction. Short stories galore. Even a couple stories that I thought at the time might be the start of something longer. And the two non-fiction pieces were creative essays, high on personality, low on tedium.

I gave up fiction a long time ago. Maybe it seemed too unattainable. Maybe I thought I could never fill a novel. Maybe I was afraid of criticism. Whatever the reason, I’m ready to get back in the game.

In fact, I have now spent the past week stretching my creative muscles. I started by writing a few paragraphs one night from the point of view of a character I made up. It felt exciting. I could feel the energy buzzing around inside me.

The following night, I found a writing prompt and set out to write the scene with a goal of reaching 500 words. A fast hour later I had 1,000 words.

The next day I started recalling a story idea that I never actually wrote. I had started it just after college I think by pulling together notes and ideas. The more I lingered on that thought, the more a scene started to come together in my head. I sat down to start writing it that night and had about a page-and-a-half of something I was really excited about. This weekend I added another scene to it.

Fiction is energizing me right now. I can’t believe I ignored it for so long. I’m just happy my muse stuck with me all these years patiently waiting for me to be ready. This is the start of something beautiful.

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4 Comments

  1. Connie said,

    Monday, June 7, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Sherri your news is BIG. BIGGER then anything I got…seriously.

    Finding your muse. Wow. That’s huge!

    Congratulations–and I look forward to hearing more as those creative juices start flooding your life!!

    Big hugs!

  2. Sherri said,

    Monday, June 7, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Connie – You are so sweet! I still can’t wait to hear your big news this Friday. You’ve been on amazing journey lately and I’m so excited to see where it takes you.

  3. Giulietta said,

    Monday, June 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Hi Sherri,

    I’m a comment fairy! Love to find new blogs to comment on. Found yours via Jamie R. Glad you bring this up. It seems there’s some blogging fatigue out there. Sometimes you need to mix your life up and get out of your writing rut. Venturing into Fiction sounds exciting. Congrats!

    We all tend to write about the same theme over and over. It tends to be our own life lesson. That keeps me excited about writing.

    Keep soul searching!

    Giulietta, Inspirational Rebel

  4. Kim said,

    Monday, June 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Yay for you! It’s really exciting to hear that your writing is reemerging. Your post made me start examining the times in my life when I was writing a lot and not struggling with it, and I think I might be onto something here. Thanks for getting that started!


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