I know that I have said this before, I am a write by the whim of the Muse sort of writer. It normally works for me. Even when my Muse is as fickle as they come, I can make her at least be some what compliant when a paper is due. I have always considered the writing process for papers and research different from the process for writing fantasy or science fiction. I am inclined to make my Muse work with me for a paper. But when it comes to recreational writing, I just let the Muse guide or otherwise dictate when I write or when I just sit and stare at the computer screen desperately thinking of something to say that will be worth putting into words on a page.
However, I have come to the realization that I could die waiting for my muse to actually help me finish a story. Originally this prospect did not necessarily bother me; I just sort of shrugged saying, “one of these days I’ll finish it.” But I keep filling my life with things like work, school, acting, reading (oh, that list is so very long), vacation, friends, movies, crocheting (I have four started yet unfinished projects; you could say that there is a pattern here and you’d be right), work, editing (not my stuff but others) sleep (yeah, I need that too), work, TV shows, hiking, family…You get the idea.
A friend of mine looked over my shoulder the other day and saw my calendar and he about flipped because of all the things that I have planned. I have practically every minute of every day scheduled with something or other. My life is not my own. I know that you can relate. We are all busy, and ours lives don’t have a pause button.
When do we find the time to let the inspiration of the Muse strike so that we can write?
Make time. I always made time for my academic papers. Granted the idea of deadlines and grades were a good motivation. But why can’t I find time for my recreational writing? Why can’t I plan and schedule my fiction writing? This is a new concept for me. I know that some of my fellow LHP writers have methods and like to plan out their stories. I have always marveled at the idea of plotting out every chapter of a book, or writing up back stories for every character before starting to write, or having an entire history of the world planned. Letting the muse guide this process is dangerous if not counter productive. So I have determined that I must take a new approach. If I don’t schedule time for the things that I really want to do, then I’ll never do them.
So, Muse, beware…I am not taking “no” for an answer. You and I have an appointment every morning at 6:00. I know, Muse, this is going to be difficult for you; but trust me, this is going to be more painful for me than for you. I am not going to require you to show up, but if you don’t…well lets just say you have seen what I can write without your inspiration, and even I have shuddered in horror at it. So if you don’t want to be offended, I suggest you come.
Ok, now that I have sufficiently warned and chastised my Muse, how do you make time to write? What is the best time for you to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard?