Friday, May 22, 2015

Chasing the Muse

I've been in a slump—a writing slump that is. It started back in the dead of winter when New England was buried under ten feet of snow. Fine, I said to myself, I'll read instead. Which I did. I thought my muse would perk up with the arrival of spring, but no, she's still asleep with no sign of waking up, other than an occasional twitch.

I don't like it one bit.

I mean,  I have a WIP to revise, an MS to query, another book to finish, and barrels of ideas to bring to paper. I have been grappling for all sorts of inspiration: reading blogs, more books, revisiting stories I love, watching movies...and commencement addresses. Because the very nature of a commencement speech is to inspire new graduates and launch them into the wide wild world. And right now, I need that push as much as they do. So, I've been spending hours on YouTube, drinking in those commencement addresses.

The one I watched last night really resonated with me (they all do, but this one was spot on for my ....er...condition). It was given by Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, at Penn. Her first piece of advice to the class of 2015 (she gave several, but that's the one that made me rear my head): "Act as if." Also known as "fake it til you make it." "Act as if and you will eventually figure it out."

This reminded me of how, when I started writing in earnest 7 years ago, I acted as If I knew what I was doing, knowing nothing about story structure, character development, pacing, etc. But I wrote my first book, got an agent, and received a lot of positive feedback from editors, even though the book didn't sell. So, here I am now, more versed in the art of novel writing (at least I want to think I am) and yet unsure how to keep going. And so, I am going to act as if I knew exactly how to write a bestseller and how to win an A-list agent and how to garner great blurbs from authors I love. "Fake it til you make it." Love that. I feel like I just graduated.

What about you? Have you ever acted as if?



2 comments:

  1. Have you tried reading The Artist's Way? I haven't personally, but some of my author friends have RAVED about it. It's a little out there though. Good luck!

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  2. Hi Kristy! I read it a few years ago. I agree, it's little out here but I liked it. Have you heard of "Save the Cat?" I read a lot of good reviews about it. How's the writing going for you?

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