To replenish my overall energy level, I need equal measures of sleep and sitting quietly at home not interacting with anyone. Usually, this means I need my nose in a book (fiction, thank you, preferably mystery). That’s a sure-fire remedy for me. I know how to solve that problem.
Recapturing my creative drive is more difficult—in part because, while I’ve been dealing with low energy my whole life, I’ve only been cultivating my creative side seriously for the last two years. You see, my first book was (as I expect most first books are) a voyage of wonder and discovery. I wrote it as the muse came to me. Rewrites also came to me at the right time.
It wasn’t like that for my second book though. To make a long, excruciating story short (you’re welcome), book 2 taught me I couldn’t wait for the muse to arrive, but I had to go hunt down that fickle bitch and put her to work.
Now I’m facing my third book, nary a plot idea in sight. And I have to get excited about it … but how?
I’ve been reading new, good mysteries lately, and that’s helping stir my competitive juices (not to beat others, but to feel I belong in the community). I’m reading articles about politics and miscreants in auto racing, which is making the plot engine in my brain sputter to life. But I need something major to kick my fingers into gear (my husband is unlikely to role play the muse in the illustration). And I’m hoping that the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, happening this week in Cleveland, Ohio, will be the ticket.
More than a thousand of us—published authors, aspiring writers, fans, readers, booksellers, groupies, you name it—lovers of mystery and crime fiction will gather to celebrate books and writing. I’ll spend three days solid talking about the highs and lows of the writing process with friends and role models. If the past is any judge, I’ll come home exhausted, intimidated, and uplifted. With any luck, also energized and ready to tackle my demons new book.
But in case that doesn’t work, what suggestions do you have for jump-starting my creativity?
(Illustration from http://www.jimchines.com/2011/04/comic-amusement/)