Forcing The Muse To Visit


Writing is a funny old thing. Often the hardest part is sitting down, and forcing yourself to actually do it. Not waiting until you feel inspired, not trying to put out something perfect, and certainly not trying to edit as you go. Just sitting down, and writing.

The first book of my current trilogy is already with my editor, but that doesn’t mean it’s rest time. That means it’s time to start writing book two! In a funny way it feels like hitting reset. I’ve just finished celebrating getting the entire book down on paper, and now I’m at the beginning of the next.

I always have bullet points of where a story is going before I start. Some days it flows. I giggle to myself as I put in witty banter (at least, I think it’s witty), or get a little hot under the collar as I write a love scene. Other days it’s a slog. But I’m not allowed to leave that chair until at least 3,000 words are written down, even if I’m sure I’ll delete them all tomorrow.

The funny thing is, even though I might slash and burn with the brutal editing red pen, rarely do I delete the entire lot. Usually it’s 90% as good as the stuff I wrote when I was feeling inspired. I just didn’t feel like working. Funny that!

If you wait for the perfect moment, you’re likely to never do it. With a regular job you still have to turn up and get it done on the days when you’re feeling tired and over it. Writing needs to be treated the same way. There are good days and bad days, and you’ll need to write on all of them. Because, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

What’s your technique for beating procrastination?

P.S. For all my talk of procrastination, I’ll soon have the cover for my new book! I should be able to post it and show you guys by the end of the week. Exciting!


39 thoughts on “Forcing The Muse To Visit

  1. Dear self, you may only not write if you go walk for three miles first.

    Healthiest six months of my LIFE! Did I mention I hate exercise?

    I finally just started writing again a couple of months ago, and while it’s not happening every day, it’s more often than it had been. Better than nothing, and spending more time doing it little by little.

    Good luck on your current novel!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought of you when I was reading Amy Poehler’s, book. You have to pick it up if only to read what she wrote about writing a book…..and because you both have a wonderful, entertaining style! Wishing you every success. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Procrastination and distraction are the enemy. I battle them everyday. I tend to be an unorganized scatterbrain that takes on too many projects. I’m working on seven pieces this summer. It is not working. I’ve drawn up a schedule, but I’m not sticking to it. I took the summer off from my day job because we are moving, but now that I have all this extra time I’m not getting anything done. I can’t wait to go back to work. I need stress and deadlines to make me more productive!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought I was having procrastinations issues this past week until I realized how much replotting I have to do because I’ve lost my story. The story has become so much bigger then it originally was going to be, so I have to sort of start over and figure a lot of things out.
    Which sucks balls and is kind of making me want to procrastinate….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that a pain? It’s a good sign when the story grows, but it’s definitely so much more work. This current trilogy was supposed to be a novella at first, but every time I finished plotting there was clearly more that needed to be told. No point fighting it!


      1. That’s what happened with me. It was originally supposed to be a 2 1/2 hour movie and it’s no longer that. I’ve been plotting and making bullet points for the last..I don’t even know how long cause I forgot to set my timer.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I like to set a goal for words a day when I am working on something new. I aim for 3000 words a day, but allow myself two writing sessions. Currently I am revision 2 separate manuscripts while writing a few others from scratch, as I go with the flow of my muse and allow whatever is “talking,” or playing out in my imagination at that given moment, the right to the stage. I forced myself to write daily on my Blog Novel: Ascension Graveyard, had ended up with 60,000+ words that will end up being scrapped. I recently began rewritinging the tale and it is already going in different direction. In case your interested about what caused all of that, here is a link to a post I whined in about it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I beat procrastination the old-school way: planning it out. The night before, I make a list of things that I ought to get accomplished the following day, and I do my very best to stick with it. If it helps, going out to a cafe or library to work, rather than being cooped up at home, is another good option. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have those exact days you describe. We’re in pretty similar places release-wise too! The second book of 4 in my series is coming out in a little over a month. I’ve worked on the series for about 10 years before I really got serious about actually *writing* the story itself. In recent months I’ve learned something very unexpected…I write best while sitting in the living room with the TV on in front of my. Before, I would go to a quiet room and listen to music to focus on writing. Turns out my muse must be a couch potato. ^_^ I also do rough outlines for each chapter as a first rough draft. Seems to be a popular technique. Can’t wait to see your cover!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Procrastination is hard for me too. I guess I just try to do a little bit each day, and hope for the days that the words flow easier. :p I find that bullet points and light outlining seem to help a bit as well. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m struggling to get my need to deal with all my emails and social media before I start writing. I don’t think it’s ever going to be easy, but I know it’s necessary.
    I began with a big cull of email subscriptions and that helps, but I’m far from conquering it.
    And that’s why I’m here, commenting, instead of writing…. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know a lot of authors struggle with procrastination, wanting the perfect moment before they write. I have to admit, I am rather the opposite. I use writing so I can avoid other stuff. House needs dusting? Well, I have that scene that needs a rewrite before lunch. The dust will still be there tomorrow! Meanwhile, the dust piles up… BUT I have a vast compendium of written words. My procrastination with writing comes in the actual publishing. I have 7 books out with small publishers, #8, I put out myself. That was scarier to me than writing. I gave myself a deadline of my birthday in October and put it out. Sales haven’t been fabulous, which makes me even more leery of putting out another.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha switching procrastination is so smart! I could definitely write if cleaning was the other option. Self-publishing is tough isn’t it, but keep going, often it works well once you’ve put several out that way.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, switching procrastination is GREAT when I don’t feel like cleaning (never). Putting out your own work does get easier, from what my self-published friends tell me. I’ve done only 1 so far.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I do use writing to avoid housework…
        My procrastination often centres around marketing the books I have out already. I know I need to get more books out, but I don’t like to let the current ones slip too far off the radar. It’s a balancing act.
        How much time do you spend on marketing?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Deborah, I agree with you. I spend as little time marketing as possible, but it will suck up a lot of time regardless of what you do. I have my 2 blog talk shows where I feature other authors, also talking about myself. I blog in half a dozen places, post on Twitter and spend time on Facebook. It’s more important to be YOU than to plug your books. Saying hello, getting to know people, that sells more books than all the promotional posts.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. If you want an amazing program, download self control. You can blacklist all the distracting websites for any amount of time you want and no matter what you do, you cannot access those sites until the time is up. Even if you delete the program while it’s still running, it still wont allow those sites until time is up. I love it and it’s amazing and, the best part, it’s free.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I thought it would, but honestly, I set it for 3-5 hours and I get so much work done. I just wish there was a pause button for when I have to stop writing and go take the dogs outside or get something to eat. There isn’t so the clock keeps running down and you can’t add more time until it’s run out. Those are my only two gripes.


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