Over the past few months I've been leisurely writing notes for the sequel to The Writer's Table, but the time has come to summon my writing muse and pen down the next installment to the Writer Series. The only problem is my muse has not fully committed to a reunion, so I find myself in a state of redirection and procrastination. Instead of writing outlines, story boards, brushing up on colorful vocabulary, and dazzling my Pinterest board with potential worlds for my characters to explore; I find myself cleaning the house, binge watching old episodes of Roseanne, staring out windows, and planning all of my upcoming events.
This is all a perfect example of a writer faced with one the most challenging aspects of the trade: when will I feel like writing? I say feel because at least for me the will to compose a narrative is a feeling. It's kind of like that scene from the movie Chocolat where the small plain French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes is just waiting for the sly wind from the north to change things and bring it to life. For me that wind will bring me my writing muse and the feeling to write pages and pages of enchanting stories.
Elizabeth Gilbert author of Big Magic and Eat Pray Love did a wonderful job explaining that "Ideas spend eternity swirling around us, searching for available and willing human partners..... When an idea thinks it has found somebody – say, you – who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea will pay you a visit. It will try to get your attention. Mostly, you will not notice. This is likely because you’re so consumed by your own dramas, anxieties, distractions, insecurities, and duties that you aren’t receptive to inspiration." I tell myself daily to let go of my worries so that all the creative powers can come through, so I can see the spark, and hear that voice that will call me to the imaginary worlds I right about. Elizabeth also goes on to explain that if we don't invest in those ideas, if we say no to those ideas they will move on to someone else (all of this is in her book Big Magic which was the first self-help book I've ever read and it spoke to me on many different levels- highly recommend it if you're an artist and need some words of empowerment).
I'm now carving out an opening for my muse to reach me: I have a beautiful and comfortable writing space, I added things to my desk that inspire me, I'm creating music playlists that will carry those ideas straight to my novel, and reserving enjoyable food and drinks that I allow myself specifically during my writing sessions. I will continue to make a nest for my muse and wait for her return. In the evening glow of my living room I close my eyes and I can hear her quiet call to a land that has yet to be written.