Because I like lists, and because I’m on a deadline tighter than my skinny jeans, I’ve created lists of things than can both KILL and FUEL your muse. I’m not speaking from personal experience of course. :ahem:
What’s guaranteed to kill your muse stone dead:
1-Reading poor reviews of your other work—don’t do it. Just don’t. A good review won’t suddenly make your writing go from mediocre to New York Times, but a bad review can shoot down your writing day faster than you can say Scotch on the Rocks.
2-Editing another book—if you can help it. I’m “this” close to finishing Last Vamp Standing. The manuscript is due to my editor mid-May and I’m chugging right along. BUT I had to remember to leave enough time to edit a novella that’s coming out with Harlequin this summer. They’re both paranormal. Shouldn’t be too hard to switch between them, right? Wrong. My edit brain works on one level while my creative brain works on a completely different one. Don’t try that at home…
3-Overachieving—Now is not the time to volunteer to work double shifts at work or start a hardcore workout program like Insanity or P90X. Now’s not the time to deep clean your closets or learn how to become a chef. Now’s the time to get your book done. Tackle one beast at a time.
Things that can FUEL your muse:
1-Music—I’m currently listening to Augie March, There Is No Such Place over and over (and ever over) again. My husband recites the definition of insanity to me (you know, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result), but if Augie March is doin’ it for my muse, I’m rolling with it. Find something that does it for you.
2-Dancing. Running. Kick-boxing. Anything physical. Get that blood flowing. Period.
3-Watching a movie in genre—Keep with the tone, the darkness (or lightness) of characters. (Last week I watched The Last Airbender, Underworld and The Hunger Games. Although you’d think that paints a damn foggy picture of the book I’m writing, it’s pretty clear for me…either that or I’m genuinely confused, which is always a possibility…insanity, remember?) Immediately after the movie ends, go home and write. Ideas should flow like wine and if they don’t, drink the real thing.