Apparently my Muse has taken an extended holiday, and progress on my upcoming novel has slowed to molasses. Having written myself into somewhat of a corner, I’ve stepped back from my novel to be grumpy and unproductive. Great plan.
The funny part is the urge and drive to write Something, Anything, still pushes, and though not much comes from it, it nags me daily. This usually amounts to jotting useless drivel on scrap paper or “brilliant” ideas that are actually pure crap.
But today seems a little different. Maybe it’s the foggy day here that’s gotten me going. Or the great news that my friend is (finally) writing a sequel to Speakeasy! But for some reason the vibe of that far off Muse is ringing.
Perhaps it is because I recently read Ray Bradbury’s book Zen in the Art of Writing. The whole book was a great set of experiences from the late, great author. My copy of the book is full of dog-ears and underlined lines now, which I actually have gone back and reread. The passage that stuck in my mind most was this mantra:
“Write. Don’t think. Relax.”
Bradbury goes on to explain these concepts in more detail, and I took them to heart, even writing them out on a piece of scrap paper (not crap, this time), and placing it in my notebook. The paper now drifts around my house almost on its own. I’ve found it on my end table, next to my bed, and in a box of magazines (though truthfully, this could be because of my cats…).
I now try to remember this mantra when I feel stuck. “Write. Don’t think. Relax.” For myself, the worst part is not thinking. I’m a notorious over-thinker, which hinders much of my writings.
But Today I’ll try not to think, to relax, and write. Maybe this will bring my Muse back on the next train.