Monday, July 7, 2014

Reader or Writer: Got the Muse Blues?

Please welcome my guest Barbara White Daille to Muse Monday. She has a great giveaway so be sure to get to the end and enter!

A big thanks to Brenda for inviting me back to Muse Monday to chat with you.

Whether you’re a reader or a writer, you probably have a muse of your own. 
To me, a muse is that helpful voice in our heads that stimulates and motivates us to accomplish what we need to achieve.  You may call him or her or it your creative well or your brainstorming cap.  Whatever works for you!

Typically, people make connections between the muse and a creative endeavor.  As “to muse” means “to think (in silence) on a subject,” I’d say the phrase covers such widely diverse projects as coming up with decorations to match a party theme or daydreaming a list of potential vacation spots.

My muse is female, finicky, and fickle.  At the moment, I’m keeping her very much in mind (no pun intended), since I’m on deadline for a book that’s due at the end of this month.  And as usual, the closer I get to a due date, the more she wants to play.

When she gets in that mood, here are some things I do to rein her in so we can both get back to business:

  1. Sit down to work, set a timer, and vow not to get up from the chair till the buzzer rings.
  1. Make a list.  For a book, that would include scene checklists, what-ifs for plot twists, or notes about edits to be incorporated into the next draft.  For life in general, that could be a to-do list or this week’s menu plan.
  1. Switch gears.  If I’ve been at my desk all morning, I might take the laptop to another room for the afternoon.  If I’ve hit a snag while working on the computer, I’ll switch to a notepad to figure things out.
  1. Take a break.  That sounds counterproductive, I know.  But sometimes our muses—and brains—have been hyper-focused for so long, they need time to recharge.
Do any of these strategies work for you when you’re trying to get motivated?

I can always use more ideas, so please feel free to share if you have any other suggestions or strategies you’ve heard about!

Also, I’m giving away a copy of my upcoming book, The Texan’s Little Secret.  Check out the Rafflecopter below.

Cover blurb from The Texan’s Little Secret:

Coming home might be the worst decision Carly Baron has ever made. Each minute on her family's busy ranch is one minute closer to seeing him—her first love—the man who broke her heart seven years ago. While coming face-to-face with Luke Nobel again brings back painful memories, Carly quickly realizes there are other strong feelings just under the surface…. 

Luke would be a lot better off if Carly had stayed away. Being a single dad to an adorable two-year-old girl and managing the Roughneck is tough enough, but resisting the sparks that fly whenever he and Carly are together is near impossible. But first she must tell him her secret. The truth could heal their past…or forever destroy their chances of becoming a family.

The Texan’s Little Secret can be found at:

Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes and Noble  Books a Million  Harlequin  Powell's Books  The Book Depository  IndieBound

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.  Barbara writes romances—usually with cowboys, kids, and a touch of humor.  Her current title is Rancher at Risk, and she’s excited that her upcoming book, The Texan’s Little Secret, releases in less than a month! 

Barbara would love to have you drop by her website:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Waving hello!

    Brenda, thanks again for inviting me here.

    And to all - I look forward to chatting with you.

  2. Thanks, Nancy! I've been very lucky with my covers, and this one turned out just the way I'd hoped.

  3. I love checklists to keep me motivated!

  4. I love the cover and love these type of books. I will definitely be on the lookout for this book!

  5. I'm a list maker, I'd probably forget my head if it wasn't on a list.

  6. I'm with you on the checklists, Nikki! It feels great to see all the checks when you're done, doesn't it?

  7. LOL, Linda! I know exactly what you mean.

    And I will confess, sometimes I even forget to look at the list unless it's in a spot where I practically trip over it.

  8. Oops! Back to Nikki - I'm so lucky - I just absolutely adore this cover. It's a perfect match to Luke's story.

    Glad you enjoy these kinds of books. I love reading - and writing - them, too. If you do take a peek at the book, I hope you enjoy it. Thank you!

  9. Love the cover and reading your books are such fun. Thank you for the contest.

    1. Aww, thanks and you're welcome, Nancy! You're a sweet <3 (do emoticons show up here? LOL).

      Seriously, thank you so much. My goal in writing is to bring enjoyment to my readers, and your comment just made my day.

  10. Hi Barbara,
    for me, an unpublished author that is still working on my wip, the thing that helps me the most is butcher paper. LOL! i take a huge sheet of butcher paper and tape it to the wall and then i write down all the important details to start leaving plenty of room to add more. i do this in pencil so that i can erase it and make changes. by the time i set down to actually start writing i have almost got the book written in my head and on butcher paper. :)
    also the best thing is that if i am writing a series and i am on say book 5 and need to know the color of a secondary characters hair from book 2 it is there for me. :)

    tammy ramey

  11. Tammy - that is an AWESOME idea! I keep using sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper, and then running out of room and having to tape sheets together. LOL

    Wow - you put hair color, etc., too? I'd love to see one of your butcher papers!

    Curious as to how you'd handle needing to re-order scenes....

  12. Readers - thanks for stopping by. I'll respond to all comments.

    As I'm on deadline and don't want to rush through any of my replies, I'll be touching base periodically this afternoon and for the next couple of days.

    Catch you later on!

  13. When I want to write poetry, I try to do so at my desk where I have easy access to the Internet sites with rhymes, etc. When that doesn't work well, I go for a drive with my husband driving, usually 45 minutes away to visit his sister, and the words just fly from the passenger seat. I am lucky to have found a place like this (and a husband who will drive to the ends of the earth for me, haha).

  14. You *are* lucky, Laney4!

    I'm the same way on road trips, the ideas just start flying. It's probably the soothing motion of the car and/or the sound of the wheels against the road - both things that help soothe babies, too. LOL

  15. I've found that playing music always helps to get me motivated or flipping through a magazine glimpsing pictures that may start ideas forming.

  16. It's list making for me. I've even been known to make lists of my
    lists, especially during the holidays!

  17. Pat - that's a new one to me.

    But you know...I think it's exactly what I need to corral all the lists I'm currently trying to juggle. Thanks!

  18. Brenda - those are good suggestions!

    For me, the magazines would trigger new ideas and the music would be relaxing...which would also lead to new ideas.

    Thanks for sharing.

  19. Thanks to everyone who dropped by, commented, and entered the Rafflecopter giveaway. I enjoyed chatting with you and learned some great tips. Hope you did, too.

    The winner of the copy of The Texan's Little Secret is:

    Jane Komppa

    Jane - please send your mailing info through the Contact form at my website. Thanks, and congrats!