I would say my biggest difficulty when writing The Lerewood was losing the muse that had first inspired me to write it. I first got the idea when I started high school about nine years ago (yikes…it’s amazing…and scary, how time flies by so quickly).
I’d started off writing the first few chapters of the book, not really planning out the story, but just going with whatever I wrote down. Sometimes writing is like that; you let your subconscious take over, you don’t think about what you’re writing, not really, and just let your fingers type whatever your brain directs them to.
Then, I’d seemed to have lost the muse, lost interest, or just simply got distracted. I may have worked on the manuscript on and off, had dreams of becoming a successful writer, kept adding to my list of ideas for books, but that first draft of The Lerewood just never really got anywhere. Even when I asked my English teacher to take a look at what I’d had, even when I showed a snippet to an author after winning a contest on her website, that manuscript just sat on my laptop. Why? I blame it on the muse that left me.
By the time I graduated high school and started my first year of college, and I was already moving on to newer ideas and newer passions, I knew my career needed to start with The Lerewood. I realized that I couldn’t just scrap it and move on to something new. As a writer, I’d never get anything done if I just started with an idea and stopped working on it whenever I lost interest. You need to hold on to the muse that inspires you and refuse to let her go…chain her to the wall of your basement if you need to. If there’s one thing I’ve learned when writing, it’s to write when inspiration is at its highest. When you’re inspired, you need to write as much as humanly possible. It doesn’t matter if the scenes are random, if nothing makes sense, you just have to get everything down…and then, when the muse finally breaks free, then you can start to look at your work through the eyes of an editor, or as a puzzle solver, and organize it, edit it, and fix your scenes up until it becomes a novel.
Even now, while working on my second novel, I find myself struggling to write because I’m not as inspired as I am on other days, or unsure of what to write and stuck with writers block. I skip days and tell myself I’ll make up my writing time tomorrow, until I’m due days of writing, and I’m just not writing, period, waiting for inspiration to hit again.
Surprise: the muse is not coming back unless you invite her to.
I’ve found that in order to get inspiration back, you have to write…and write…and write…and soon you will discover why you were in love with that idea, why you began this blood-sucking project in the first place. It’s like loving your significant other; on any normal day, they’re just a part of your life like anybody else, and some days they are even a nuisance. But then, you remember why you love them. You’re reminded of why they’re so special to you, or why they’re the most important person on Earth to you. Your novel is your other significant other, and sometimes, they need a little attention.
So after four years of inactivity, I pushed myself to get all those forgotten ideas down and finished my first rough draft of The Lerewood. The story went in a very different direction than what I’d first intended, but that’s okay. Sometimes when writing, you can only see the road ahead of you, but find that you’ve ended up in a different destination, unsure of where you took a wrong turn…but you’re not unhappy about where you’ve ended up. Because it’s been such a long time writing it, editing the manuscript was difficult, I admit, because I struggled with trying to remember my original ideas and wondering if I could still salvage them and add them to the story somehow, and wondering if the end result satisfied my need to finish that first story of mine. But after years of editing and rewriting, I realized that as an author, I’m always going to want to make changes to The Lerewood. I realized that I was only delaying myself from sending it to a publisher, so I took a risk, and now I’m a published author thanks to Kellan Publishing.
"Traitor," whispered one of the hunters.
Ilere was struck with surprise. She did not expect him to focus his anger on Uallas. She was selfish to expect the anger would be for her. She sensed that the hunters were no longer interested in her, upon discovering a man of their town who had not been killed by her, but instead seemed to be working with her. He did not help the hunters, but helped Ilere protect the forest. Ilere was paralyzed. She did not expect to fight alongside the man she had saved. She was not prepared to have an ally.
It was too late to save Uallas again. Before Ilere could think, a hunter aimed his bow and arrow at poor Uallas, and released.
The dirt was not the only creature screaming. Uallas joined in unison, as the thirsty ground drank his blood. The arrow pierced his side, swimming deep within his intestines like a sharp parasite.
-Excerpt from Chapter 7
Do not fall prey to the arrow of idleness. Sink your claws into that muse, and write!
Welcome to Andrea's blog!
Here you can find news on The Lerewood and what I'm up to.