I have been doing battle with my Muse for the last couple of weeks. I don't know why I do that. I always lose.
She's feeling lazy these days, which means I'm not in the mood to write. I want to be in the mood to write! The last two novels I drafted came out practically whole, and I had such fun writing them, I want to do it again! I feel ready to go again. My Muse, however, is not ready. She's checked out.
I've made some progress towards finishing a story I started several years ago and abandoned because I couldn't figure out how to end it. I came up with an idea recently and resumed work on it. The working title is Sisters, a story about a group of elderly nuns who sue the Catholic Church over its failure to care for them in their old age. I think it has some real promise, but it's been like dragging a sled uphill to make myself work on it. I've even slept through my alarm clock three times in the last two weeks. When I'm really in the flow, I wake up at 4:30 AM without the alarm.
What's up with that?
It could be that the story sucks. That's always a possibility, but I've written enough novels by now to know that they all seem to really stink at the 75%-finished stage. I don't think this one is worse than any other first draft, and it involves some really interesting characters whom I don't want to abandon. The plot may be a little out there, but it's not inconceivable (at least the Pope won't jump off the top of the dome of St. Peter's!), and the characters are quirky and interesting. I'm not ready to give up on it. I just don't want to work on it right now.
I think the more likely explanation is that I'm trying to force myself into an unnatural writing groove. It's springtime at the beach. It has finally warmed up after a long, cold (for us) winter. Last year I took the summer off from writing to be "on vacation" at the beach. I thought that was a one-time thing because of all of the personal stuff I was dealing with last year. I'm beginning to think that my Muse is as much of a beach-lover as I am. Neither of us wants to be cooped up in the house writing when there are miles of beautiful beaches across the street.
I don't want to take the summer off completely like I did last year. I really do want to write something every day and try to publish two e-books a year. Maybe instead of aiming for an average of 1000 words a day, I'll shoot for half that over the summer. That will let the Muse rest up for NaNoWriMo in the fall.
Perhaps I've been overworking the poor dear. I promise to be nicer to her. Then maybe she'll be more cooperative with me.