Dancing with the Muse

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Dancing with the Muse

Since receiving a concussion in February of 2018, I have been struggling with writer’s block and can’t dance with my muse. I’ve read several books on the subject trying to find help. They suggest that you just have to push forward, or find a new routine, or and I love this one “Just write.”

I’ve tried all of those things, but sadly none of them have really worked for me. It’s not like I don’t know how to write a book. I have over twenty novels published. Then I read a self-help book that stated the only way to reconnect with your creativity was to take care of yourself.

I had a sudden epiphany. When I wrote those first books back in 2011, I was recovering from an illness that put me into bed for about six month. I couldn’t do anything except take care of myself.

Now in 2019, I am taking care of many things: family, friends, a new house, being temporarily separated from my husband, two new puppies, and the list goes on. I worry about what the puppies are chewing on in the backyard when I’m not home. My youngest granddaughter has been diagnosed with in toeing and I worry she will need surgery. My husband has diabetes and I worry that he isn’t eating correctly. Finally, my biggest worry, will I get a book finished this year? So many worries, so little time.

But what I haven’t been doing is making myself happy. Taking time to ponder the mysteries of the universe, playing, laughing, or taking time to smell the roses.  Because all my energy is going into worrying, I haven’t had the energy to write.

Being a panster, I need time to think, dream, and visualize. My characters are trapped in a bubble I can’t seem to break. Now that I am aware of the problem of being scattered by too many worries, I am taking time to sit still and put my worries on hold. The bubble is getting thinner and I can see a few scenes coming together. I have hope and a few chapters are written.

I still don’t have a book done, but with baby steps, I can see one coming closer. I just need to remember to take care of myself, first. It seems selfish to do so, I know. Like you, I am expected to care for everyone else and put my needs last. But the creative process doesn’t allow it. You cannot dream up new worlds and new people unless you focus within.

So if you can’t seem to find your muse to dance with and create, I suggest you take the time to be yourself. The you that likes to play, sing, dance, and dream. Keep at it and those worlds will start to come closer and those characters will begin to whisper in your ear. Then the magic can happen and the words will appear on the page.  How do you take care of yourself so you can dance with your muse?

10 thoughts on “Dancing with the Muse

  1. Caryn,

    You are the most important thing, as much as we miss your books it’s important to take care of your self. We love your books and we will be here. We all have things that take us away from things we love but it will wait be there when we return to it, just like your fans will be there for you when you release another book.

  2. Caryn, what a beautiful revelation. I so enjoy your wonderful energy and your wise soul. I think you’re absolutely right: find and nurture that energy (it probably got stretched pretty thin by the past year or so) until it can warm your creativity again. It’s a slow process, and I know it’s been awful for you.

    Thank you for sharing your experience: we all encounter setbacks (though you really caught a doozy of a setback there!) and we don’t just have to get past them, we need to get past the incredible stress they cause.

    It so often comes down to taking care of ourselves. When I’m gloomy and stressed, if I stop to pay attention to myself, I take baths and naps and read fairy tales ’til I’m finally charged up again. If I can’t a way to loosen up my energy, I start to feel like I’ve turned into an automaton and can’t write worth a tinker’s dam.

    It’s a blessing to hear from you and to know you’re getting your strength back. Be well and be happy: you deserve a whole lot of both. Enjoy!!!!!!

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