What to Do When Your Muse Disappears 60,000 Words Into Your Book

You don’t give up when your muse leaves town. You start a new challenge. Join me in giving author Suzanne Burke a warm Always Write welcome!

Always Write Series: #Bloggers Hosting Writing Challenges

Writing Challenge hostess #1 Suzanne Burke AKA Soooz

Have you wanted to write fiction and struggled to get started? Or maybe you wrote a book, and your muse disappeared or you got snagged somewhere in the process of publication.

If this sounds like you, read on.

Author, Suzanne Burke hosts a flash fiction challenge and supports her participants with multiple social media shares. 

As I read her posts, it occurred to me how much goes into hosting a writing challenge of any kind. She responds graciously to every comment in her inbox. 

After exchanging a few comments and emails, I feel like I have known her forever. 

Suzanne agreed to write the first guest post/interview for Always Write to tell authors everywhere how she started and what it is like to host a writing challenge. 

Take it away Soooz.

Firstly, my grateful thanks to Marsha for inviting me here today. I hope I have given you a glimpse into my experience hosting a visual writing prompt. 

Q: What prompted you to begin to host a writing challenge? 

A: It all came down to the timing. I was already 60k into my latest WIP (work in progress) when my muse decided to grab a stagecoach and get out of Dodge. It’s happened before and the frustration and procrastination genies were warring with each other for dominance. I needed to commit to something creative, something I would also need to contribute to. That’s when the idea was born. 

Soooz

I can feel your pain. I have never made it to the end of a fiction publication. Grrrrrr.

Q: How long have you been doing this? 

A: It’s only been six weeks since the first prompt went up. It’s been a huge learning curve. But I’m having a marvelous time with it.

Soooz

Q: How much time does it take? Is it all-consuming so that you don’t blog about anything else?

 

A: I must admit that I underestimated just how time-consuming the process would be. I spend many hours scouring the internet for free to use images. Images engage the creative juices. We writers tend to be intensely visual creatures, taking mental snapshots of everything that catches our muse’s attention. 

Soooz

The marionette image evokes some strong emotions. Your 750-word example kept me on the edge of my seat. 

I heard recently in a class that a blog needs some type of image every 100 words. I use Canva.com and have tried Unsplash.com as well. They both have thousands of images you can sort through in the click of a search word.

Q: How did you determine the genre?

A: I chose not to impose a genre restriction. That tends to isolate some folks from participating. I’ve been lucky to have had some wonderfully diverse entries, yours included, Marsha.

Soooz

Thank you, Soooz, with three o’s.

Q: What steps do you take to get your challenge ready? 

A: Because it can take almost a week and sometimes just before the deadline before the entries start coming in. I write my own contribution during that time. 

Then I share all the entries over the course of the week. 

Soooz

That’s a benefit for your participants to build the traffic to their blogs. 

I check daily for comments on the Author’s blogs who have shared the challenge, respond to those. 

Another great benefit to those who submit, Soooz. I found my entry that you shared on Twitter. How fun! I also found a typo in my customized excerpt. I need a better proofreader.

I’ve had a great response doing that. Finally, I put up the next week’s prompt. I’m determined to still make time to write and post Book Reviews and support other authors on my blog. 

Soooz

Q: How did you attract people to participate? / How do people usually find out about your challenge? 

A: I have been so fortunate to have met some wonderfully talented and supportive writers since my first foray into writing. Many belong to an online book club I’m a member of, and still others I’ve met via Twitter, all have been amongst the most generous and supportive folks I’ve ever met. These folks share my posts via tweets and the word begins to spread. I find Twitter to be a very effective platform.

Soooz

Q: Do you have help reading all the entries?

A: No, I enjoy reading all of them.

Soooz

Q: What do you do with the entries – like do you ever publish anthologies, award widget certificates?

A: I’m keeping it as simple as possible at the moment. I may use some of my own entries in an anthology in the future.

Soooz

In Conclusion

Thank you, so much for this wonderful post, Suzanne, Soooz, S., Stacey. It’s been a super pleasure to have you as the first interview/guest post in the Always Write #Bloggers Hosting Writing Challenges Series.

I hope you will come back to write another guest post again.

Links

Contact Suzanne at …

Her author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

Biography

Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds of miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.

Life interrupted her routine and allowed her to begin her journey into the world of writing in her early fifties, a journey she’d wanted to start for many years.

You can find Suzanne’s memoirs under the pen name of Stacey Danson.  Search for her powerful thrillers Acts Beyond Redemption and Acts of Betrayal and her paranormal anthology Mind-Shaft under the name S. Burke. 

Both of Suzanne’s non-fiction books, Empty Chairs and Faint Echoes of Laughter, have ranked in the top one hundred paid in Kindle on Amazon and continue to earn wonderful reviews.

Welcome Suzanne with your comments and check out her #6 Challenge.

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Author: Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, author, blogger and retired teacher/consultant - Promoting Hobby Blogging

27 thoughts on “What to Do When Your Muse Disappears 60,000 Words Into Your Book”

    1. I am so glad you are pleased. It is the first!!! I hope it will serve you well as a testimony and a link you can add as a reference and recommendation/guest post to your website. I hope this will bring you added success to your already wonderful challenge. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s awesome. One thing I want to do like Janice Wald does on Mostly Blogging is to create a widget for each of my guest posts on other blogs. She posts links to them in her sidebars which keeps folks hopping back to her friend’s blogs on a regular basis. I haven’t done it yet, but that’s another project! 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Hi Soooz, nice to meet you and read about your writing motivation. Marsha and I have been blogging buddies for over 4 years and we both live in California. What you shared resonated with me as a part-time writer of NF. I’m in the 4th year of slowly writing a book on fitness and it’s finally in the peer-editing phase. I’m not much for writing challenges but I do enjoy reading posts from others who take part. I host a photography challenge so I agree with you on putting in some work to share the posts and engage on the blogs and social media!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for your comment, Terri. I’m excited to read your interview about your photo challenge as well. Like you, I am much more comfortable with non-fiction than writing fiction. I had to stretch my entry in Soooz’s challenge to make it historical/fiction.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I look forward to writing again soon. Other entries prime my pump. It’s crazy scary how hard it is for me to just look at a picture and think of a story. Stretch!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, Terri! Hosting this challenge has been such a pleasure. It’s so much fun to drop by the author blogs of the others who have shared their take on the prompt.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Glad I caught this fab post with Soooz. Lol, I don’t even know how I landed here lol. You are a fantastic host Marsha. And I’m hopping back over to Soooz’s next challenge . Hugs to both 🙂 xx

    Liked by 3 people

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