How to Capture the Elusive Muse

I was thinking about a time I felt called to do something creative, but I ignored it. My muse came and whispered in my ear, and I refused to listen.

I had stories to tell, but I let them fade from memory. I didn’t nurture them. I put them in a notebook in flashes of inspiration then damned them to solitude.

My stories called me from those pages, begging to have their stories told.

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Getting Unstuck in Writing

I was making steady and sure progress towards finishing my novel. Then, I stopped writing. For something like a week. Not a long time, mind you, but long when you’ve only got five more weeks to finish writing a novel.

I developed the habit that every morning I would write for 10 minutes.

About anything, except for my novel. Something to keep my mind fresh. I use Kicking In the Wall by Barbara Abercrombie if you’re interested. I do this by hand with a fountain pen, and it has sometimes yielded great results, and I write far longer than my 10 minutes. Sometimes I cheat and stop writing at 7 minutes and wait for the clock to run out. Either way, I highly recommend the practice of 10 minutes per day. Bonus points if you do longhand.

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Goals and Failures in the Writing Process

I’m a natural goal-setter. It’s how I get through life managing my time and nailing down a million dreams I have for myself and those I love. So, I piggy-backed on the goal-setting system of NaNoWriMo.

 I figured, if I could write 1,600 words per day, I could do 2,000. More on the weekends. I could commit to that. It wasn’t too lofty or far-fetched, right?

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Exposing Yourself in Your Writing

Wow, I read this quote from Neil Gaiman and it hit me hard:

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”

This hit me hard because I feel that’s where I’m at in my novel. I’m 25k words in, about a quarter done. The beginning has ended, and I’m wading into the middle of the story.

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How to Find an Editor for Your Novel

I plan on self-publishing my novel, and I want it to look as clean as possible. So, I’ve decided to hire a freelance editor to help me hit the bulls-eye on this story.

I am going through as many rounds of edits as I can endure before I send it to my editor so that she is getting something polished, versus wasting both our time and money cleaning up a mess I could have cleaned up on my own.

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How to Create a Map For Your Fantasy Novel

First thing, you don’t need to overwhelm yourself creating a map for your fictional universe if you don’t want to. But, your readers will likely thank you later if you do include one. It creates a better experience by letting readers be more involved and immersed in your work. Where would we be without a map of Middle Earth?

I created a crude map on a piece of notebook paper, but when I passed it off to a talented graphic designer, it became this (after a few edits because of my errors). This will be published along with my novel.

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