Sadly, I think that I have plotted myself out of my muse time. After recently attending the Moonlight and Magnolia's Conference, I started pinpointing plotting skills that were needed for a successful story. In the past two years, I've read more over GMC (goal, motivation, conflict), outlines, storyboards, adequate back story, etc...And this was while I was editing my last book for publication.
Having wonderful writing friends is a boost as I can see what works for them in their careers but it's been hard making them work for me. One thing that I learned about myself this year is that I can seriously plot myself out of several promising story lines.
While having a bank of novel ideas, I kept trying to write more than a sketchy scene to only have my imagination freeze up faster than my toes on a frigid tile floor. It was mind numbing. I could see something and then by the time I got it down to typing it out, POOF Gone! My muse would run from the room as if she'd been scared by a mansion full of ghosts. I'd start to feel better when I"d get a whole new scene in my internal vision but I'd end up doing it all over again.
About three weeks ago, I started jotting down brief descriptions of all the scenes that I could clearly see and saved them on pieces of paper in my purse. When I had a free lunch hour (hahahahah), I got those bits out and smiled at tangible proof that my creativity had not run away from me.
This past week, I had pulled out a group of plotting tools to see if I could give myself a day to think over what those small scenes could mean for a plot lineup. I was pleased when I got a few of them answers on the questionnaire but then it crashed on me faster than a Walmart buggy on Black Friday. I was totally stumped.
My GRW (Georgia Romance Writers) meeting was this past Saturday and I mentioned this dilemma to some of my chosen circle. One response (sounding strangely like my hubby's opinion on the matter) was that I was pushing it too hard. DUH! That's what we do!
This person was a bit different in her explanation. She stated that I was a pantser, which is a free form thinker, and not a person who technically plots out every little detail. I knew this. What I didn't understand was that I was trying to make myself a better writer but in a way that smothered my creative flow. I was unintentionally taking the fun out of every scene that my delicious mind handed over, therefore kicking my muse in the curvy butt cheeks.
I had a couple of hours to think this over as I drove back home and thought it was worth a try to see if I could get my Pants On. I have a few days that I can concentrate on my ideas and will try to get myself to just write what is thrown at me and not push the technical issues until I have the first draft written.
This is worrisome for me as I feel like I may be wasting time but my muse may need this to reboot for the projects that I have lined up for 2015. There's only one way to find out. So, Thanksgiving will be Food, Resting, Family, and Writing. I'll be thankful for my blessings, whether they be in ink or by my side.