Unlock the Muse – October 3, 2018

Here it is, another Wednesday. Due to some schedule changes this week, I’ve enjoyed a couple of days off from the whirlwind sports routine. I should be working on my villain. I should have had this post written earlier, but I’m once again writing it at the last minute.

Here is this week’s writing prompt:

Autumn is here. Write a list-poem about what this season evokes for you.

This is my favorite time of the year. Temperatures are moderate. Leaves are changing color and falling to the ground. They make a delightful crunchy noise when stepped on. There are birthdays and pumpkin patches and Thanksgiving.

I wanted to find something that spoke about writing through exhaustion and burn out because that’s where I’m at right now. In her book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott doesn’t speak about exhaustion. But she has a wonderful chapter on writer’s block. Here is some of what she shares:

The fear that you’ll never write again is going to hit you when you feel not only lost and unable to find a few little bread crumbs that would identify the path you were on but also when you’re at your lowest ebb of energy and faith. … Things feel hopeless, or at least bleak, and you’re not imaginative or organized enough to bash your way through to a better view, let alone some interesting conclusion. … We have all been there, and it feels like the end of the world. … The word block suggests you are constipated or stuck, when the truth is you’re empty.

Anne suggests getting out of your own way. Take the bad days and commit to writing just 300 words of whatever. Write them, then let them go. Let your subconscious mind fill again with all those things that make you a productive writer. Then get out of your own way and let your subconscious work. When the well is again full, the ideas will flow once more.

October is the time of spooks and villains. I’ve been working on building the villain for my novel series. In honor of the season, I’ll ask this question: What is your villain most afraid of? Why?

Happy writing!

Please consider sharing a link to your response to the writing exercise. Got a question? Just ask!

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