Manufacturing Your Muse: Location, Location, Location


Welcome back, my nugs, to another post on manufacturing your muse. First, let’s take a moment to reflect on last week’s lesson. In Manufacturing Your Muse: Mirror the Greats we talked about how to use the books, short stories, or other works of well-known authors to develop motivation, whether through the copy and paste method, or emulation. I forgot to mention that often we do this without thinking. Look back to one of your writing sessions during a spurt of reading a certain author’s book. Do you notice a similarity in voice? Or do you notice the difference it that writing versus your most recent work? Using the greats as inspiration is a great way to manufacture your muse. But what if all of this isn’t enough? Then you need to look at the three locations of writing.

Location 1: Physical

The first location that can help manufacture your muse is the physical location you write in. Everyone has their spot they like to write, in bed, at a desk, out in their yard, or at the local coffee shop. (Don’t worry, I know there are more.) And many believe that if they can’t write in their location, then they can’t write that day. Maybe you’ve used that same location for so many writing sessions you need to change it somehow. If your special location is the best place for you to write, and it’s grown stale, then that’s a great excuse to change your writing space setup. This could include reorienting your writing space layout, or adding some new items to inspire you/your story, or change the lights to something brighter, warmer, or dimmer. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that throw us off our groove.

The other way to change your physical location is to write somewhere else. If you usually write at home, try going to the local library or coffee shop, and vice versa. But also be smart about moving locations. You know yourself better than most, so don’t set yourself in an environment that wouldn’t give you a sense of comfort. I don’t like crowds, so going to a coffee shop for me wouldn’t work, even if I put on headphones and turned my music up to 10. So respect yourself and don’t force yourself into a situation because all the other cool writers do it.

Location 2: Mental

Here’s the worst part about life. It’s always there at the back of your mind. Especially if you have issues, which most of us have, that pester your conscious and subconscious mind. Being in the write mental state can be the difference between a good and bad writing session. One of my biggest mental impediments is when I keep my phone within arm’s reach as I write. I look at my phone when I hit a tough patch in the manuscript or feel like I need to find a better word. I could look at the same things on my laptop, but the phone is “easier” for my mind to stray. Sometimes it’s the effect of emotions that dampens my mental resiliency. Extreme emotions dealing with something other than writing can detract from your ability to focus. So what can you do?

Mental resiliency is an important, but sometimes ignored, attribute in writers. Just ask your friends or relatives if they think they could write a book. Most would say, “no way, I couldn’t sit and scare at a screen for that long.” What you think you eventually speak, and what you speak, you become. Thoughts lead to who we are, even if by increments. This conversation could spin off into a different conversation, so I’m going to limit myself to the focus of this post. Building the mental resilience for writing and manufacturing your muse means moving into the best mental state for your success. Take a moment to consider what distracts you while writing, and if possible, remove it from your writing sessions. If you must have your phone nearby, adjust your notification settings so that only the most important information comes through. Respect your mental health. If something you’re writing is mentally damaging and isn’t the story you want to write, then stop. Or move on with the story in a different direction.

Location 3: Story

When I talk about your story location, I mean maybe you’ve been working on the same chapter for weeks, but nothing seems right. (The timeline where you hit your point of frustration may be different.) This would be time to change your story’s location. Move up as many chapters as you need to forward. Moving ahead can give you that feel of starting something new. Sometimes the frustration and misery we face in writing is we are focusing too much on the current chapter and not considering “How do my characters get from where they are to where I want them to go?” This question can also answer another issue that we’ll describe a little later. So you’ve moved ahead a few chapters in your story, write that scene or chapter and then look for clues about how your character arrived at that part of the story.

Now for the other answer to the earlier question. If your character is going a different direction than you intended, listen to them. Often we find ourselves held up by the want to write to our outline. That’s why we created the outline. And the story communicates to us similarly to our characters. Your story could target the wrong age group, genre, sub-genre, or any other unique identifier. If you’re struggling to make an action adventure work, add an element from another genre, change the planet it’s on, or change your point of view character. Story location is so diverse that any change can take it to the place the story needs to be.


While I’m not a real estate agent, I believe in the truth of Location, Location, Location. Getting into the correct physical, mental, and story locations can get you and your muse in a sweet spot for a great writing session. It won’t work every time, but write what you can when you can. Every writer faces their own challenges in the writing process and these are just some that I’ve experienced. I hope that if you find yourself stuck in one of these locations that you can come back or remember these ideas and try an alternative approach to get into that better location. Check in next week for a post on non-writing activities to get your muse back into gear.

Thank you all for reading, and as always, stay fresh, my nugs!

Previous: Mirror the Greats

Next: Live Life

2 thoughts on “Manufacturing Your Muse: Location, Location, Location

  1. Pingback: Manufacturing Your Muse: Mirror the Greats – Myers Fiction

  2. Pingback: Manufacturing Your Muse: Live Life – Myers Fiction

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