Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Muse, oh Muse

Greetings everyone. When mighty Alex first started this blog hop, IWSG, I intended to post every first Wednesday. Life had other plans for me however and I became so sick that the hospital emergency room was nearly my  home. So today I've decided to share about my muse, or lack thereof. How do you come back to your writing life after an extended duration of illness or some other life event that keeps you away?

I had acute bronchitis that was caused by black mold and bug spray. I nearly died and since my home environment continued to expose me to toxic spores I couldn't get better. I slept a lot. My brain was a fuzz ball. I had trouble reading more than three blog post in one sitting. Writing became a challenge of; how do I say that, or what did I just write? You get the picture.

To remedy some of the boredom I started playing two Facebook games, Cafe World and Castleville. I still play, Cafe World eats away a lot of time but Castleville doesn't give you an unlimited energy supply to do whatever you want while there. So now, my health is better but I'm totally addicted to these games. What to do?

It's easy to say, toughen up and do the job. In reality, life is sometimes difficult and the distraction that certain habits give you is like soothing balm on a burn. However, I have stories and characters who want to come to life and explore their own worlds. So, I must buckle down and spend the time required to flesh out my characters and create their worlds and send them on their adventures. The problem is one of excitement. I'm not thrilled with the prospect, or I should say, two weeks ago I wasn't. Partly because I left one of my stories at a place with three chapters that needed major work. I was stumped.

How did I handle it?

I made an outline and threw out the offending chapters. I also realized that one character really didn't need to occupy as much of the spotlight. She is important to the story, but she is not the main hero or villain. Thus a little less attention on her solved several problems, not the least of which was focus on the plot.

The next problem is how to turn around my writing so I can make up for an entire lost year. I need to produce. With this in mind I found Rachel Aron's Writing Triangle. I don't remember how I happened upon this, probably through someone's blog post, but let me tell you, this woman is worth a visit since she has several informative post on writing.

Her writing triangle is a method to turn your writing production into a machine driven by you. The blog post is titled; How I went from Writing 2,000 words a day to 10,000 words a day. Oh yeah, do I have your attention? Take the time to visit and take notes. Now I know what I must do and to say anymore is pointless.

I hope you found this post informative and helpful.
Happy Writing,

I'm looking for critique partners, if interested say so in the comments and leave your email address.

Rachel Aron's Writing Triangle here.

More Insecure Writer's thoughts can be found here.


Siv Maria said...

Game addiction is a pretty powerful thing which I also had a problem with a couple of years ago. Finally I just stopped playing those Facebook games by changing my focus towards other less harmful distractions. Sometimes a writing break is needed, I feel bad though that illness forced that break on you. I hope you are feeling better and I am glad you are taking pen in hand again :)

Siv Maria's blog, Been there, done that...

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Siv
Oh yeah, I hear you. I am also glad to be back and better still, excited about writing.

J.W. Alden said...

I'm a pretty avid video gamer, so I know all about the temptation and time vortex that lies within. It can be tough sometimes to shut them out and do what you have to do! It sounds like you're on the right track though, ever upward.

Good luck!

J.W. Alden

Lexa Cain said...

Black mold and big spray?! I write horror and that sounds like a dastardly plot twist. Get out of the house! Save yourself while you can!

I sure hope you feel better and get some writing done. :-)

Melissa said...

I say either go cold turkey on the games or set so many minutes (or hours?) of playing as a reward for a set amount of word count. And then set an alarm. :D

Thanks for the triangle tip - I'll definitely check that out!

Best wishes for good health and good writing. IWSG #177 (until Alex culls the list again. :P )

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you're back! (Check, you might need to add yourself to the list again.)
First time I've ever seen the triangle.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Glad you came back - I'm sorry you were sick. That's the first time I've seen the triangle, but I'll definitely check out her site.


Carolyn V said...

OH no! I'm so sorry you were so sick. I hope you are feeling better.

I totally agree with the writing triangle. You need all three to get that book out!

Southpaw said...

Wow, I feel ya. It's hard to get back into it. It is like starting from scratch. I am checking out the link now.

Nancy Thompson said...

Hi Nancy! I'm a new follower via the IWSG. I'm glad you're finally posting.

When you get an answer to your question, please let me know. Though I haven't suffered as you have (sorry, by the way) I was recently thrown off track. I was working diligently on my second novel when the edits for my first came in from my publisher. Talk about a monkey wrench! And since then, I've had so many distractions with my release coming up next month. The I got an editing gig, to boot, so instead of writing my own stuff, I'm editing manuscripts for others for my publisher. I want more than anything to jump back into it, but there always seems to be something in the way. Makes it hard to boogie with the muse, know what I mean?

Nancy S. Thompson
#46 on Alex's IWSG list

Vikki ( said...

Hi :)

Just popping in from the IWSG :)

Oh honey, I'm so sorry you've been so ill :(

But, you sound like a strong lady, and your post is inspirational :)

Good luck honey xx

N. R. Williams said...

To all of you, welcome. Thanks for all your thoughts and to those who followed I appreciate that. I'll be by.

Shah Wharton said...

Hello - here from IWSG - great post. I will have to check out the triangle. :) Your illness(es) sounded awful - do hope you've made a full recovery. I don't play 'games' so can't commnet on those, but as far as distractions from writing - procrastination is my middle name. *sigh* :D X

Shah X

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Shah
I am recovered, thank you for asking. Oh yeah, I know about procrastination. Thanks for stopping by.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I tend to get hooked on Facebook games a lot too.

I need to up my game with writing so I'll definitely check out that post, thanks!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Nancy,

Thanks for the link on the triangle... it sound very interesting.

I am very happy to hear you are well again. I know when I was laid up with crippling arthritis and bedridden for a year, only watching movies filled my days and nights.

When I became more mobile, I stopped. I am on the move ALL THE TIME. I barely watch movies anymore, writing has taken over for me.

Eventually you will ween yourself off your video games. It had helped you through a rough time in your life. It is now time to put the crutches down.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Jamie
Yeah, eat away is what they do. But I am conquering it.

Hi Michael
I didn't know you suffered from arthritis, me too. Sounds like yours is a different kind though. Glad writing has taken over your life.

S. L. Hennessy said...

10,000 words a day? That's SUPER impressive.

N. R. Williams said...

Sure is S. L.

Chemist Ken said...

Nothing wrong with video games. I'm sure it keeps the imagination amped up to a high level. Welcome to the IWSG.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Chemist
They are ok if they don't take up too much time, I think.

Donna Hole said...

Glad you're on the mend Nancy. I know how hard it is to get back into writing once you've had a long break (game addiction or not). Its been a couple months since I wrote on any of my projects, and I'm starting to feel the lax as if I'll never start again.

I like how you sought out a resolution and immediately put it into place. Thanks for sharing your links and insights.


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Donna
Immediately is relative. I found the link while still quite sick but it did inspire me to use notebooks to write. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Pat Tillett said...

I really needed that hint. I've got so much written and so much yet to write. Tying it all together is almost impossible for me. I know that my primary problem is that I'm A.D.D. I finally broke down and agreed to try some medication for it. Just started a week ago and I seem to a bit more clarity already. Can't wait to jump back in and try to finish at least a few of the many writing projects I have sitting around here.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Pat
It is a challenge for many of us since life pulls us in so many directions.