What Motivates your Muse?

Barbara Custer included lots of zombies in When Blood Reigns.A few weeks ago, at a writer’s coffeehouse, we discussed what motivates us to finish a book. Each person had a different answer. I secretly thought it was Mylar balloons; however, I said it helps me to go outside for a walk to clear my head, and it does. That’s assuming, though, that the weather is sympathetic. During the dead of winter, I stay in the house.  That’s not to say I can’t write during the winter, but the walk outside won’t be one of my tools.

Someone else suggested rewriting the scene from a different character’s point of view. I’ve never tried this, but I found the idea intriguing. I will gladly give it a go. I’d like to know if any of you all have tried revising and writing from a different character’s viewpoint.

Someone else said it had to do with their surroundings. They found it helpful to change the room where they write. I have to agree, but I think I’d have to ask why. Most of my blank spells happen in my office, despite my cushioned chair and large desktop screen. In the living room, I’m sitting in a hard-back chair, hardly conducive to creativity, with a 14-inch screen laptop. Ah, but I’ve got a comfortable stool to prop my foot; not so with my office. What’s more, my laptop works with Firefox so I can find meanings of words and other information; my desktop is given to frequent hiccoughing and freezes. In the living room, I’ve got my Mylar balloons to coach and motivate me, whereas, in the office, I work alone. It has helped to bring a balloon tree into the office with me.

I’d like to mention that a typical shift on the day job, if tiresome, can deplete my energy. Someone commented that getting into writing can energize them after a stressful day, but when my energy is gone, it’s gone, particularly during the cold months. There is also this: it helps to be available to work at my computer. That means home, or at a library, and not at the doctor’s, or otherwise occupied. So … when I know I’m going to be scarce or have major NTD work, I use my desktop, and keep my iPhone nearby if I need to Google something. If I’m home, or otherwise available, I use my laptop. Wherever I am, it sure helps to have those Mylar balloons.

What motivates your muse? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Commenters are eligible to win a copy of When Blood Reigns.

 

About Barbara Custer

Author of: Twilight Healer Steel Rose Life Raft: Earth City of Brotherly Death Close Liaisons Infinite Sight When Blood Reigns Infinite Sight Publisher / Editor of Night to Dawn Books & Magazine
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2 Comments

  1. When I am stuck a trip on the train is usually stimulation enough. Of late I have taken up photography and that helps too. The worse books I have come across do not offer any hope for the characters within and so offer nothing in the end for the reader to take away from the reading. I am not saying a book cannot have a tragic ending. The Great Gatsby is a wonderful novel. What I am saying is there must for me at least be a chance everything will work out fine. You then can go along with the writer as events spiral down and be satisfied with the conclusion. You are not perfect and your characters should reflect this. On the other hand, we learn and there is the possibility of learning enough to get out of an unfortunate situation. Endings can be difficult for both writer and reader. If it has been a marvelous journey neither wishes to leave. I tend, however, to think of writing like any form of art. Too little and the painting is incomplete.Too much and the artist may lose his or her way, producing something less than what should be there on canvas.

    • Thanks, Rod. On a longer trip, I’ve done writing on a train. Also I’ve had my issue with endings – most of the time if I look at former tales, I’ll think this should have ended differently.
      Barbara of the Balloons

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