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When you're missing the muse Editor's Notes #136
December 31, 2012

When inspiration does not come,
I go for a walk, go the movie, talk to a friend, let go….
The muse is bound to return again,
especially if I turn my back!

--Judy Collins

Happy New Year for 2013! If your resolutions include something related to writing, consider signing up at for the reminders to stick with your goals. You may notice that the page of 2013 goals is not yet posted. That's on today's to do list. Be the first to have your goal listed for the new year.

In this issue:

1. The missing muse
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Changes

1. The missing muse
From time to time, a writer may lose the muse, that compelling inspiration for writing. Here is a list of productive things to do when your muse takes a break.
  • Research material for your content. Even if you think you have all the information you need, go deeper or wider. Travel, interview, read, sit and observe: whatever it takes to learn more about your topic or characters.
  • Read for pleasure. This can be on any topic or in any genre. The higher the quality of the writing, or the more you enjoy the material, the more likely you are to rediscover your muse.
  • Read in your genre or field of interest. This is not the same as research or reading strictly for pleasure. This is wallowing in the pool of writers who write the same things you do.
  • Immerse yourself in other arts either as an artist or an audience.
  • Do market research. Who is likely to read your book? Where do such readers go to buy books? What influences them to buy?
  • Research illustrators/designers. You will likely need one. This is a good time to explore the visual world related to books.
  • Join a local (or online) writing group. When your inner muse takes a break, other writers may inspire you to keep producing.
  • Begin a new project. It may be that the lag in interest is more for the project than for writing in general. Writing about something else keeps you sharp and may lead you to a whole new field of production.
  • Submit a sample for editing. The professional feedback may be what you need to break through this present barrier.
If all else fails, write about losing your muse.


2.Tickled my funnybone
Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.


3. Interesting Web site
You don't have to be missing your muse to play with the Haiku Generator.


4. Changes
In the last issue, I explained that the Writer's Helper Web site will look scattered while I redo all the pages to take advantage of new technology my service provider offers. If you notice that pages look different, remember that the site is now a construction zone. All the information is still valid, and it's business as usual at this end.

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