Every writer has come to the point where things become muddy, sticky, and possibly monotonous. Is it writer’s block? Sure. Is it becoming bored with your own story? Maybe. Is it the dullness of life or a perpetual northern winter or a life event that arrives like a stray lightning bolt and saps you of any motivation to get to the page? Of course.
As a writer I admit I have been there. All of us have. But what can you do to get out of that funk? How can you rise above yourself and this particular situation with your friend or family member that just won’t leave you?
I believe the answer lies in what can be called a Muse. It’s the age old question. What can the artist (in this case writer) do to keep, well, doing? It’s not a sudden burst of energy that finishes a great work but coming back to the project day after day after day. The great writers of the past may have written amazing things because of the epic lives they lived. But more likely they became great writers because they pulled up their sleeves and wrote.
But this work requires energy. And yours is sapped remember?
In the article, How to Keep and Feed a Muse by Ray Bradbury, he explores a thread which holds the “fuel your writing idea” together and it is this twofold:
“I believe one thing holds it all together. Everything I’ve ever done was done with excitement, because I wanted to do it, because I loved doing it.” (Bradbury, Zen and the Art of Writing, pg 40). This means, obviously, doing things you love. I have children and a full time job yes. But I haven’t stopped watching hockey or finding time for that good book or going on a walk or stopping by a library during lunch break.
What do you love?
“Do not, for money, turn away from all of the stuff you have collected in a lifetime. Do not, for the vanity of intellectual publications, turn away from what you are – the material within you which makes you individual, and therefore indispensable to others.” Bradbury, Zen and the Art of Writing, pg 42).
So, writer. It’s time to unlock the broom cupboard you’ve put yourself into. The key, after all, is right in your hand. Take it and unlock the door. Don’t cast away responsibility but be sure to remember who you are and do something you love.
Allow that love to unlock excitement, ardor, joy.
And use the fuel it creates to write.