Funny thing about being a writer; some days I can sit down and write non-stop for hours. Other days, however, like yesterday, not so much. I sat down to write this blog and stared at the computer screen for far too long. I almost yelled out, “Muse where the heck are you? but since this was far from the first time this has happened to me I knew it would be a complete waste of energy.
I take comfort in the fact that there are dozens, probably hundreds of writers also experiencing a misplaced muse and I move on. The first thing I do is get as far away from my computer as humanly possible. No email, no facebook, no blog…
I resolve that today will be a day I use to clear my head. Since I live in the Northeast and it is bone chillingly cold, venturing out won’t happen. I mean, it could, but it won’t. I’m not a big fan of the frigid temperatures we’ve been experiencing.
There are tons of options to choose from for this day I’ve given myself: I could curl up with a book on the couch in front of the fire, I could set a pot of soup to cook on the stove and fill the house with that wonderful aroma of home cooked love, or I could work on a cross-stitch project I’ve been meaning to finish. All of these tasks sound wonderful, and I could do any one of them. . .only I don’t.
You see, I have this problem. I am a perpetual neat freak, and admit my issue openly and honestly. At this point in my house, if any family members are home, they make sure to get out of my way, because I come through the place like a banshee. I rip apart a closet I’ve been wanting to get to, I run the laundry and the sheets and all the towels, I clean out the fridge, the stove, and anything else that isn’t bolted down, and I keep on cleaning until my hands actually hurt.
My husband once asked, “why are you punishing yourself?” and I laughed at him because he didn’t get it. I’m not the kind of mom/wife that can write when I know there’s stuff that needs to get done; i.e., household chores, etc. And since he’s never scrubbed a floor, or cleaned a toilet, he won’t understand the rush I feel when I’m done, cleaning, scrubbing, washing, and it sets me free. Yup. You read that right. I get into cleaning.
My mind is clearer than it’s been in weeks. I step back and look at the finished projects with a deep contented feeling and then after a hot soak in the tub, I pass out and go into the deepest sleep I’ve experienced in months.
The most wonderful part of this process is that the next day I wake refreshed, renewed, and invigorated. I no longer dread my computer and usually wind up putting in a full day at the keyboard.
What do you do when your muse is on vacation? Do you physically throw yourself into a task? Do you relax and play it by ear? Do you turn on some music and exercise? Do you clean like a banshee? What do you do to clear your head and reboot your muse? I’d like to know because sooner or later, I’m going to run out of “stuff” to clean : )