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O Muse, Where Art Thou?

Marty

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About ten or so years back I was doing a fair amount of creative writing and had even put a little of it online. One of my pieces even appeared in the 2007 Fall Anthology "The Rainy Day" here on GA. Then paid work (from which I am now retired), voluntary work (particularly in the LGBT-support field - in which I am still involved) and various other things (such as developing my creative skills in digital photography) all managed to get in the way and I reluctantly decided to put my creative writing on hold. I still maintained my love of the written word and so have still been doing a lot of reading in the intervening years.

 

A few months back my muse, after she had been on a long holiday to destinations that are unknown to me, decided to pay me a brief visit to tell me that I should start writing again. That prompted me to log back in to GA for the first time in a while and see what was going on with the creative writing community. Although the site itself has certainly changed over the years, it's good to see so many of the old crowd still here - and to even see some names that I recognise from other sites (some of those sites sadly now no longer active). So, after reading some of the stories and poems, I decided to take out Author status again (I say "again" because I am fairly certain I did once have author status - but that probably got removed because of my long hiatus) and see if that would prompt my muse to return again. So in the past week or so I have uploaded a story and a couple of poems - probably really just to try to justify (if only to myself) having that status. But none of them have been new work, just old pieces of mine.

 

And that's really what's bothering me. I want to write new stuff! I've a couple of ideas that I am playing with. There's two novels that I really should finish that have both been on hold for over ten years. I've over 50k words done on one and 70k on the other, but neither of them are any way near complete, and both have chapters missing (as in I have early chapters, later chapters, but in-between chapters missing - if that makes any sense). I've struggled with both in the past few weeks, but don't seem to be able to move on with either of them. I know some people will suggest that I just start uploading the existing chapters and that that will give me the impetus to complete them. But I tried that on another (now defunct) site 12 years or so back and it didn't work. I just left readers asking me to complete them and I never did. And I don't think it would be at all good of me to do that again to the readers on GA.

 

There's also a completely new short story (maybe 4k to 7k words if it ever gets written) that's been going round in my head for the past while. I've tried numerous times recently to type it in. But every time I try it just doesn't seem to want to flow. I'll write half a page, read it through, and just not be happy with it. The idea is there! And I'm sure in my head that it is a great idea. But it just doesn't seem to want to leave my head and appear on paper (or on the monitor of my laptop). I sometimes actually finish up with a headache trying to write it. Is it writer's block? Has my muse deserted me again? I have the fucking story in my head! So why can't I write the fucking thing??

 

I know I could just upload lots of my old stuff on here (and I may well do that with some of my pieces). But I would feel somewhat of a fraud if that's all that I do. If I'm going to call myself an author I feel that I ought to actually be writing some new stuff as well.

 

Questions:

  • What is the cause of writer's block?
  • How does an author overcome writer's block?
  • O Muse, where art thou?

 

The piece mentioned in the first paragraph that I wrote for the 2007 Fall Anthology "The Rainy Day" can be viewed here if anybody is even remotely interested. 😉

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Hi Marty, I am not a writer myself, but I have read many of the authors here talked about it. I think there are even some threads in the forums. Most of what I have heard from authors I follow is that you should try to pause in the things you are trying to write, and start something completely different, like some prompts, to see you you can get started again.

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Hi Marty, I am not a writer myself, but I have read many of the authors here talked about it. I think there are even some threads in the forums. Most of what I have heard from authors I follow is that you should try to pause in the things you are trying to write, and start something completely different, like some prompts, to see you you can get started again.

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17 minutes ago, Sweetlion said:

Hi Marty, I am not a writer myself, but I have read many of the authors here talked about it. I think there are even some threads in the forums. Most of what I have heard from authors I follow is that you should try to pause in the things you are trying to write, and start something completely different, like some prompts, to see you you can get started again.

:thankyou: for the feedback, Sweetlion. I have already looked at the Writing Prompts on GA and none of the ones I looked at so far have really grabbed my attention. I'll maybe go back and have a look at them again. 😊

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Like @Sweetlion, I'd recommend prompts. Have a browse through the prompt forum and see what snags, what starts up thoughts. If you've been so long away from writing, just scribbling something short, and repeating a few times, may be the way to get your head back in the right place. 

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Cheers Northie! I may give it a go later this evening. Busy cooking dinner at the moment. 🍴

 

I'm making no promises that anything I may come up with from a prompt will appear online though... 😉 

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Don't try to force it try to let it come naturally, if you try too hard and try to force it you're more likely to push it away. Give yourself time and I'm sure your muse will return, I hope it does as I'm looking forward to reading more of your work. You have a talent that I can only dream of.

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Marty

Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Mancunian said:

Don't try to force it try to let it come naturally, if you try too hard and try to force it you're more likely to push it away. Give yourself time and I'm sure your muse will return, I hope it does as I'm looking forward to reading more of your work. You have a talent that I can only dream of.

Thanks, Mancunian. I know I had the talent. I'm just hoping (and do actually believe) that it will all come back to me. I just hope it doesn't take too long though, as I'm definitely getting older by the day. 😉

 

And hold on to that dream of yours. Dreams really can come true. I've read your stories. You have a real talent as well. 😊

Edited by Marty
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2 minutes ago, Marty said:

Thanks, Manchunian. I know I had the talent. I'm just hoping (and do actually believe) that it will all come back to me. I just hope it doesn't take too long though, as I'm definitely getting older by the day. 😉

 

And hold on to that dream of yours. Dreams really can come true. I've read your stories. You have a real talent as well. 😊

 

Thank you your very kind and encouraging to this learning novice.

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I agree with the advice so far, Marty. Try a prompt, but don't force it. It could be five hundred words, or five thousand. There are no rules in this game. Let what's inside come out... when it wants to. Good luck, and cheers... Gary....

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2 hours ago, Headstall said:

I agree with the advice so far, Marty. Try a prompt, but don't force it. It could be five hundred words, or five thousand. There are no rules in this game. Let what's inside come out... when it wants to. Good luck, and cheers... Gary....

 

Thanks, Gary.

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