Well this is certainly a word we can all relate to. In a perfect world we would be allowed to write, create and dream up our stories without interruption. But real life has a habit of intruding – laundry, housework, meal preparation, time with family…well you get the picture. I will admit there are times I just want to be left alone, in a Greta Garbo kind of way!
So let’s take each numbered definition at a time. Number one – lack of a plan, regularity or purpose. Whether a casual writer or a professional one, time to immerse ourselves in our creations is important. To enable us to have that time we have to engineer ‘writing time’ in any manner that works within our individual life styles. Maybe, like me, you work full time, have children at home and a household to run. Where can you squeeze in writing? This is dependent on a great many things, such as the age of your children, how stressful your job is and how much ‘help’ you get from your significant other. With careful planning and a schedule you can balance wants and needs. You may display a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door of a room you can escape into, plug in head phones or leave the house altogether. Whatever works for you is best. The main thing is to have the understanding of your family that ‘writing time’ is an important element in your life.
Number two relates, I feel, to character building. As we delve into a new character and his or her struggles, we need a real sense of their character, likes and dislikes and how they would react to certain situations. If we cannot connect with them the plausibility of their reactions will suffer. Whatever device works for you go with it. Character sketches, research into personality types or people watching are all great ways to know your character better. This will ensure whatever obstacles they come against their reaction and coping skill level will be believable.
The last definition is one we all know and is related to our self belief in our abilities. We have all berated ourselves at one point or another when a plot does not work, a deadline is not going to be met or we are unhappy with how we have written something. Take heart in the knowledge that no-one is immune to these thoughts and feelings. Use your support system to help you. This might be your writers group, a mentor or a supportive family member, whatever or whomever it is don’t consider yourself alone. Reach out and bounce your ideas off them, receive their encouragement willingly. You may have to revise a character, a story line or perspective but you can do it – just believe your muse is with you.
Have you suffered with desultory feelings? How did you overcome them?